Local student chef shares tips for budget-friendly Thanksgiving meal

Student Chef Rowan Christensen invited News 3's Courtney Cole into the kitchen to explain his Thanksgiving meal prep.


Who’s Cooking?

That’s the question circulating through many circles of family and friends as Thanksgiving gets closer.

If you’re the person who’s been allotted the big task, but you’re on a budget, News 3’s Courtney Cole spoke to a local student chef who proves a good meal doesn’t have to be expensive.


It’s the day many of us have been waiting for…and it’s quickly approaching.

That means you probably want to make a meal,  but you don’t necessarily want to spend a whole lot of money to do it.

Savannah State University Student Chef, Rowan Christensen shows and tells us how:

ROWAN: “Hey, how’s it going? I just wanted to try to make this holiday season a little bit easier for everybody.”

COURTNEY: So let’s get right into, we see the cranberry sauce here, tell us how you made it.

ROWAN: “Cranberry sauce is real simple. You have a $1.00 worth of cranberries, basically $3.00 worth of oranges and about a $1.00 worth of sugar and water. It takes about 10 minutes in a sauce pan…You put it on high, wait for it to simmer, and boil until it reaches a consistency. I like mine a bit thinner, some people like theirs a bit thicker. The whole thing is no more than three dollars, and in my opinion, better than most of the things you can buy at the the store.”

COURTNEY: Awesome, so cheap and quick! And of course the main part–the bird! You have chicken [instead of Turkey], so explain what’s going on here…

ROWAN: “Well instead of turkey, I got chicken because I’m only going to be cooking for myself, maybe a friend as well, because I’m staying here for the holidays. But if I was going for a turkey, I’d want to do the same prep. You see this kind of a salt exterior, and that’s to basically dry out the skin. I’m going to leave that on for about for about two hours and then I’m going to wipe it off.Then, I’m going to put it in the oven and basically the oven is going to make the the skin super crispy, since it’s already really dry. Also taking out the spine and spatchcock, that’s going to cook it faster…and I’m going to cook my stuffing, separate to the bird. That’ll make it cook even faster. I’m going to put it in, 30 minutes until the bird is ready. And when you have all of it together, you have a really nice, simple [turkey] meal. And this whole process will cost about 6 bucks for the bird, and salt and baking soda is about a dollar each, if that.”

COURTNEY: So we have a whole meal under $20.00, and if  people want to find out more about your recipes, where can they go?

ROWAN: “You can go to The Tea Club Productions at Youtube.com, you can just search my user name ‘Rosar 142’.”

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