Have a jazzy Thanksgiving: Punny recipes from the JAZZ.FM91 cookbook

This Thanksgiving, we’re Carvin’ the Bird with recipes from the JAZZ.FM91 cookbook. We’re improvising on the classics and spicing them up with a little jazz flavour.

Instead of a boring old roasted turkey, why not a fried Yardbird, or a Cole Porterhouse with Billie Hollandaise sauce? Maybe a swinging side like Art Tatoes or Jimmy Cobb Corn. And don’t forget the dessert: Crème Bublé or a Clifford Brown Betty.

Check out all of our punny holiday dishes below, and let us know which are your favourites. Happy Thanksgiving from JAZZ.FM91.


Yardbird: Fried turkey

Sax virtuoso Charlie Parker earned the nickname “Bird” because of his love of fried chicken. Well, what’s a turkey if not an even bigger, more delicious chicken? These meticulously brined and seasoned turkey breasts and thighs would surely have the approval of one of the greatest jazz musicians of all time.


Art Tatoes

Mashed potatoes are an essential part of any Thanksgiving spread. This recipe, named after the piano great Art Tatum, starts with some plain old Yukon Golds and ends with a perfectly creamy, fluffy dish that’s anything but ordinary. Enjoy them on their own, or use them as a canvas for a smorgasbord of other holiday classics like turkey, gravy and cranberry sauce.


Cyrus Chestnut Stuffing

What would Thanksgiving be without stuffing? Named after jazz pianist Cyrus Chestnut, this recipe uses chestnuts, Pancetta, cornbread, Ciabatta bread and much more to combine into a uniquely flavourful mix that’ll serve as the perfect accompaniment to your turkey.


Benny Green Bean Casserole

If you prefer hard bop but easy recipes, look no further than this popular holiday dish. Inspired by pianist Benny Green, this recipe for green bean casserole is relatively simple to prepare and will leave the whole table wanting seconds. (If you ever happen to be cooking for as many people as there were members of the Jazz Messengers, you’ll want to multiply the recipe by 11.)


Cole Porterhouse with Billie Hollandaise Sauce

This recipe is a double-header of jazz icons and culinary classics. Cole Porter inspires a perfectly cooked porterhouse steak, while Billie Holiday is the namesake of a must-have Hollandaise. Together, they’re an expertly written song paired with the perfect singer.


Wynton Marsalad

Trumpeter, composer and educator Wynton Marsalis isn’t the type to make compromises or take the easy route — and neither is this salad. With spinach, red onions, dried cranberries, Stilton cheese, spiced pecans and a Cajun vinaigrette, it’s a jazzed-up take on a classic side dish. Who knows, maybe it could follow in Marsalis’s steps and become the first salad to win a Pulitzer.


Crème Bublé

You’ve had crème brûlée. Now try crème Bublé. This recipe for the classic French custard treat owes its name to Michael Bublé, one of Canada’s most beloved musical exports.


Dizzy Gilles-pea Soup

Ah, pea soup — a classic source of comfort. Just like the music of Dizzy Gillespie. With a good helping of vegetables and protein and a little bit of kick to keep things spicy, you’ll be bebopping your way back for a second helping faster than you can say “virtuoso.”


Dexter Gordon Bleu

The French term “cordon bleu” is named after the “blue ribbon” worn by members of the highest order of knighthood in 16th-century France. Meanwhile, tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon belonged to the highest order of jazz sainthood in 20th-century America. Bring them together and you have a delectable dish worthy of either comparison.


Crab Calloway

The incomparable Cab Calloway was a master of scat singing, a top-tier jazz performer and the leader of one of the most popular big bands of his era. Put on your favourite swing records and have some fun while you enjoy this intensely flavourful crab salad.


Jimmy Cobb Corn

Jimmy Cobb was a member of Miles Davis’s first great sextet and served as the backbone of the best-selling Kind of Blue. He also recorded with John Coltrane, Wes Montgomery, the Adderley brothers and many more, while having a long career as a bandleader himself. So, there’s no shortage of great music to enjoy while you chow down on this savoury corn on the Cobb.


Clifford Brown Betty

This recipe takes its name from trumpeter Clifford Brown, who made a huge impression on jazz in the 25 years he was alive. An influential musician and composer, three of his tunes — Sandu, Joy Spring and Daahoud — have become jazz standards. Similar to a cobbler or apple crisp, the Brown Betty is a traditional and irresistible dessert made from baked apples and sweetened crumbs. Make it from Jazz apples to add an extra jazzy twist!


Louis Prima Rib

Like the singer and bandleader Louis Prima, prime rib is an attraction that takes centre stage. This deliciously seasoned standing rib roast is juicy, tender and bursting with flavour. It’s enough to satisfy the appetites of all the members of a big band.


Thelonious Monkfish

Commonly used in French cuisine and only recently gaining popularity in North America, monkfish is known for its huge mouth and white flesh that’s often compared to lobster meat. All you have to do is follow this recipe and put some Thelonious Monk on the stereo to set the mood while you prepare and enjoy these flavourful fillets.


Gin Fizz’gerald

Like the voice of Ella Fitzgerald, this cocktail is light, fresh and full of character. Enjoy the gin fizz while listening to the best of the First Lady of Song. Plus, it’s simple enough that there’s plenty of room for improvisation — just like Ella loved.


Tequila Sun Ra

An experimental jazz savant and “cosmic” philosopher, Sun Ra took his adopted surname from the Egyptian God of the Sun. So it’s only fitting that we name this tequila sunrise after him. Mix up some tequila, orange juice and grenadine, and you’ll be enjoying this popular cocktail in no time.


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