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Prepare Thanksgiving meal with local food in mind

The highly anticipated Thanksgiving meal is just more than a week away. If you’re looking for something different than the traditional turkey, or if you just need some ideas for delicious Southern sides, promoter of local food movement Gaining Ground’s got you covered, all with locally sourced and in-season ingredients. Find out more at growchattanooga.org.

Baked Chicken with Rosemary Potatoes

Serves 4-6

Prep time: 20 minutes, plus 1 hour in the oven

Contributed to Gaining Ground by Lucy Crider of Crider’s Creek Farm

What you need:

• 6-8 small potatoes — Yukon gold is our favorite

• 6 medium carrots

• 1 medium onion

• Coarse salt

• Extra-virgin olive oil

• 1 whole chicken (4-5 pounds)

• 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

• 1 tablespoon butter

• 1 small bunch fresh rosemary

What you do:

• Preheat oven to 375 F. Chop the potatoes into 1-inch cubes, leaving the skin on. Chop carrots and onions into similarly sized pieces.

• For the chicken, mix 1.5 teaspoons salt and cornstarch. Wash the chicken and pat it dry, then rub its skin with melted butter and season inside cavity and outside with salt mixture. Stuff some rosemary into cavity. Put onion, carrot and potatoes around the chicken.

• Line a cookie sheet or small roasting pan with foil. Place the remaining rosemary on the foil and place the chicken on top. Roast for 1.5 hours, flipping vegetables every 20 minutes.

• Remove from oven and remove foil, being careful with the hot steam, and flip the vegetables. Return to the oven uncovered and roast for about 30 more minutes, until chicken juices run clear and a thermometer registers 165 F. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before serving with biscuits and a fresh salad.

Roasted Carrots with Rosemary

Serves 6

Prep time: 5 minutes, plus 40 minutes for roasting

Submitted to Gaining Ground by local artists Anderson and Jessie Bailey

What you need:

• 10 small carrots, 1 inch of tops left on

• 2 tablespoons olive oil

• 2 teaspoons salt

• 1 teaspoon pepper

• 3-4 sprigs of rosemary, or any herb of choice

What you do:

• Preheat oven to 500 F. Spread carrots on a cookie sheet and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary sprigs. Roast for 20 minutes. Decrease oven temperature to 325 F. Continue to cook for another 20-30 minutes, turning on occasion.

Grilled Stoneground Polenta with Wilted Greens and Sausage

Serves 4

Prep time: 20 minutes, plus 40 minutes cooking time

Contributed to Gaining Ground by Susan Moses, chef and owner of 212 Market Restaurant

What you need:

• 1.5 cups local polenta

• 5 cups water

• 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt

• Rosemary stalk

• 1/2 cup local goat cheese

• 8 ounces local sausage

• 2 bunches spinach, Swiss chard or your choice of greens, washed & roughly chopped

• 3 cloves garlic, minced

• 2 tablespoons olive oil

• Salt and pepper

• Shaved Cumberland cheese, to garnish

What you do:

• Bring salted water to a boil with rosemary branch, whisk in polenta, return heat to low and cook at 25 minutes, stirring often. Add goat cheese & remove from heat. Remove the rosemary. Spread the polenta evenly on an oiled pan and chill. Refrigerate and, when chilled, cut into triangles.

• Sauté sausage in olive oil, breaking it up into small pieces. When sausage is cooked through, add garlic and greens and toss to wilt. Season with salt, pepper and reserve.

• To serve, grill the polenta over a well-seasoned barbecue grill or grill pan. Top with small spoonfuls of greens and garnish with shavings of Cumberland cheese.