It’s hard to believe, but Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Don’t worry, Rania Harris has some great recipes that will be sure to impress your guests!

Homemade Chicken Stock

  • 1 
tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 
medium onion ~ chopped medium
  • 2 stalk celery ~ chopped medium
  • 2-3 large carrots ~ chopped medium
  • 4 
pounds whole chicken legs or backs and wingtips, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 
quarts boiling water
  • ½ 
teaspoon table salt
  • 2 
bay leaves


Heat oil in large stockpot over medium-high heat until shimmering; add onion, celery and carrots and cook until slightly softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer vegetables to large bowl. Brown chicken in two batches, cooking on each side until lightly browned, about 5 minutes per side; transfer to bowl with vegetables. Return vegetables and chicken to pot. Reduce heat to low, cover, and sweat until chicken releases its juices, about 20 minutes. Increase heat to high; add boiling water, salt, and bay leaves. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to low; cover and simmer slowly until stock is rich and flavorful, about 20 – 30 minutes, skimming foam off surface, if desired.

Strain broth and discard solids. Before using, defat stock. After stock has been refrigerated, the fat hardens on the surface and is very easy to remove with a spoon.

To defat hot stock, use a ladle or fat separator.

Thanksgiving Butternut Squash Bisque


  • 1 large onion – chopped
  • 2 carrots – sliced thin
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ¾ teaspoon mace
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • 3# butternut squash – peeled, seeded and cut into 1# pieces
  • 2 sweet potatoes (about 1 1/4#) peeled and cut into 1# pieces
  • 6 cups homemade chicken stock
  • Cinnamon Sugar Croutons:
  • 4 thick cut slices Challah bread ~ cut into ½-inch cubes ~ crusts removed
  • 4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 (slightly) heaping teaspoon roasted Saigon cinnamon


In a large pot cook the onions and carrots in the butter over medium heat until the onion is softened. Add the mace, ginger, white pepper, squash and the sweet potatoes, and 4 cups of the broth, and simmer the mixture, covered, for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are very soft. In a blender, puree the soup in batches, transferring it as it is pureed to a pot. Stir in the remaining 2 cups of broth. Season the bisque with salt and white pepper to taste.

For the Croutons:

Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Toss the bread cubes with melted butter in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, combine cinnamon and sugar; sprinkle over the bread cubes and toss to combine.

Spread the bread cubes in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes (The croutons can be stored in an airtight container for several days.) Sprinkle over soup just before serving.

To serve:

Divide the hot soup into soup bowls and top with cinnamon sugar croutons.

Makes 12 cups – Serves: 8 – 12

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