The holidays are soon arriving with warm summer evenings now quickly behind us. The leaves have transformed through a myriad of colors, and there is a refreshing chill in the late autumn air as we quickly approach wintertime. It is a time to welcome the plethora and excitement of the burgeoning festivities that go along with the distinctive flavors of the holiday season. The seasonal changes presents an inviting time to gather around the warmth of the kitchen celebrating with family and friends, and a time to partake in the delicious savory aromas and tastes of our favorite wintertime and holiday dishes.

We would like to share a few delicious recipes from some of our favorite Napa Valley Chefs who have created their own innovative take on Holiday Fare.  Plus I have added a few of my own delicious favorites!

Truffle Chicken
Whole Roasted Truffle Chicken

1 whole 3 pound chicken
Chicken Brine
Truffle Butter

Chicken Brine Ingredients
2 cups kosher salt
3/4 cup honey
5 pints water
5 1/4 pints ice
1/2 bunch thyme
1/2 bunch rosemary
1/2 head garlic
1/2 tablespoon coriander seed
1/2 tablespoon fennel seed
1/4 tablespoon black peppercorns

Truffle Butter
1 pound butter, soft
1 oz truffle oil
salt & pepper to taste


Combine water, honey, and salt.
Bring to boil, skim off residue, add aromatics, steep.
Strain over ice.
Cut off bottom 2 joints of wings and cut out wishbone.
Brine whole chicken for 1 hour.
Pipe butter under skin of breasts and legs, about 4 oz per bird.
Place fingers under skin and run butter around the entire bird.
Truss properly and allow bird to air dry for 24 hours.
Bake in oven for 45 minutes at 400 degrees.

Recipe by Levi Mezick, Executive Chef at Harvest Table


Turkey & Wild Mushroom Minestrone

4 quarts turkey stock
Shred any leftover turkey meat from the carcass before making stock
½ bunch parsley
¼ bunch fresh thyme
2 small heads roasted garlic cut in half
2 bay leaves
8 peppercorns
1 ea 4 oz can San Marzano tomato filets, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 cups cooked orecheiette pasta
4 ea diced nantes carrots
4 cups nappa cabbage, coarse shred
6 cups baby spinach
4 cups chanterelle and oyster mushrooms. (use a cremini button to substitute)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
Pinch of cayenne
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup St Helena Olive Oil plus extra for drizzle
3 tablespoon Clover dairy sweet butter
Salt and Fresh-ground black pepper to taste


In a large pot, place the turkey carcass and cover with cold water about 2 gallons. Bring to a boil and skim the foam. Reduce to simmer, add the roasted garlic, thyme, bay leaves, parsley and peppercorns and cook for 2 hours and strain. Return to pot and reduce by a third. Should yield 4 quarts of stock

In a large skillet, heat ¼ cup olive oil over medium- high heat. Add the carrots and cook, stir and sweat them for 5 minutes. Add the cabbage and cook, stirring to wilt.. Then toss in spinach and season with salt and pepper. Cook veggies for 2 minutes until soft and remove to a bowl and reserve.

In the same skillet, melt the 3 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, season lightly with salt and pepper and cook. When they begin to brown, add tomato and basil and stir, for 1 minute. Now add the stock, carrots, cabbage, spinach, shredded turkey and the mushroom tomato mix back to the stock pot. Bring back to simmer and adjust seasoning. Add pinch of cayenne

To Serve: Place two tablespoon of cooked pasta in a large soup bowl.Ladel in the soup being sure to get a little of all that goodness. Sprinkle generously with parmesan and a drizzle of St. Helena Extra Virgin olive Oil! Personally I like a small squeeze of a Meyer lemon off my backyard tree!

Recipe by Silverado Executive Chef Jeffery Jake


Sugar Pie Pumpkin Risotto with Wilted Brussels Sprouts Leaves

pure olive oil
8 ounces fresh Chanterelles
1 tablespoon shallots (chopped fine)
1 teaspoon garlic (chopped fine)
2 ounces white wine  
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 tablespoon fresh sage
salt & pepper

1 pound Arborio rice
8 ounces Sugar Pie pumpkin (grated fresh)
½  medium onion (diced fine)
½ cup mixed herbs (thyme, sage, etc., chopped)  
2 quarts chicken stock
4 tablespoon butter
6 tablespoons parmesan cheese    
salt & pepper

Brussels Sprouts Leaves
1½ pounds Brussels sprouts
1 each medium onion (chopped fine)
6 ounces bacon
1 ounce apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon water
salt & pepper

Baby Pumpkin
salt and pepper


Pre-heat a sauté pan on high until it is very hot.  Add olive oil immediately following with the mushrooms.
Sauté the mushrooms for about 5 minutes.  Season lightly with salt & pepper.
Add the shallots, garlic and chopped herbs.  Let cook for an additional three minutes, then deglaze with the white wine.  Let this reduce by 1/2.  

In a four quart heavy bottomed pan sweat the onions in 3 tablespoons of whole butter until they are translucent.
Add the rice.  Keep stirring until the rice is coated and completely incorporated into the mixture.  
Turn the heat on high and begin adding chicken stock (approximately 1/3) stirring constantly.  Add more as it is absorbed in the rice.  This process will take about 20 minutes.
When the rice is cooked through, but still al dente, remove it from the heat.  Stir in parmesan cheese and remaining butter.  Stir in the grated pumpkin and herbs; salt and pepper lightly.  Keep stirring until the squash begins to soften.  
Fold in chanterelle mushrooms.

Brussels Sprouts Leaves:
With a sharp paring knife, cut 25% of the Brussels sprout off from the stem side.  Peel leaves off individually about halfway down, or until it becomes too difficult to pull them off.  Reserve the leaves.
Cut bacon crosswise into very small pieces.  Cook slowly in a sauté pan until much of the fat is rendered, but before it becomes crisp.  Drain and discard the fat.
Sauté onions in olive oil until soft.  Add the cooked bacon, salt & pepper, and Brussels sprout leaves.  Toss quickly.  Add water and continue cooking for about 30 seconds; just until they wilt.  The leaves must maintain some crispness.  
Sprinkle with vinegar, taste for seasoning, and serve.

Baby Pumpkin:
Hollow out the pumpkin and brush liberally with butter.  Season with salt and pepper and bake at 350°F, until the pumpkin is tender

Fill the baby pumpkin with the risotto overflowing onto the plate.

Executive Chef Bob Hurley, Hurley’s Restaurant & Bar