Brussels sprouts and bacon

Roasted root vegetables and farro salad

Classic chicken noodle soup

Whether you're the star chef of the family or you're assigned dish duty, the odds are pretty good you've got that all-important Thanksgiving dinner on your mind.

Along with the fun — and let's be honest, the occasional tension — that comes with getting together with friends and family, the cooking itself can be overwhelming for many people.

NPR's Michel Martin got together with Christopher Sorensen, the culinary director for Blue Apron,, to whip up a few Thanksgiving-friendly meals and to talk about getting comfortable in the kitchen this holiday season.

Below are the recipes for meals Martin and Sorensen made, which come from the meal-kit delivery service's recently released cookbook.

(Note: Blue Apron has been a sponsor of NPR programming.)

Pan-seared Brussels sprouts with bacon

Trim 1 pound Brussels sprouts; quarter lengthwise.

Small dice two slices thick-cut bacon.

In a large pan, cook the bacon for four to five minutes on medium, until browned and crispy.

Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate, leaving any fat in the pan.

Add the Brussels sprouts; season with salt and pepper.

Cook on medium high, stirring occasionally, for eight to 10 minutes, until browned and slightly softened.

Remove from the heat.

Stir in the crispy bacon and 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar.

Roasted root vegetable and farro salad
Serves 6

Ingredients: 2 cups raw, skin-on hazelnuts or almonds; 5 1/2 cups peeled and medium diced root vegetables (such as celery root, carrots, parsnips, rutabagas, and/or sweet potatoes; about 3 pounds total); two sprigs sage; two sprigs thyme; extra virgin olive oil; kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper; 2 cups semi-pearled farro; 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar; two shallots, minced; 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

1. Toast the nuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Spread the nuts on a sheet pan in a single, even layer.

Toast hazelnuts in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or almonds for 15 to 17 minutes, until lightly browned and fragrant.

Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool slightly, tossing the nuts occasionally. If using hazelnuts, when the nuts are cool enough to handle, transfer to a clean kitchen towel.

Cover with the sides of the towel and rub back and forth to loosen the skins.

Discard the skins. (If using almonds, no need to remove the skins.)

Transfer the nuts to a cutting board and coarsely chop.

2. Roast the vegetables

Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, combine the root vegetables, sage and thyme.

Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, season with 2 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; toss to thoroughly coat.

Spread on a sheet pan in a single, even layer.

Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until browned and tender when pierced with a fork.

Remove from the oven and set aside to cool to room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove and discard the sage and thyme.

3. Cook the farro

While the vegetables roast, heat a pot of water to boiling on high.

Add the farro and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt.

Cook for 20 to 22 minutes, until tender.

Drain thoroughly and transfer to a large bowl; stir in 1/4 cup of the vinegar and season generously with salt and pepper.

Gently toss to combine.

Set aside to cool to room temperature, gently stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes.

4. Compose the salad

In a small bowl, combine the shallots and remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar.

Season with 1 teaspoon salt.

Marinate for two minutes.

Add the root vegetables, marinated shallots (including the vinegar), nuts and parsley to the farro.

Drizzle with 1/3 cup olive oil and toss gently to combine.

Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish and serve.

Chicken stock (substitute with turkey to make turkey noodle soup)
Makes 4 quarts

Ingredients: 3 pounds chicken pieces (preferably necks, backs and wings); one yellow onion, cut into wedges; two carrots, peeled, cut into 3-inch lengths; two stalks celery, cut into 3-inch lengths; one head garlic, halved crosswise; one large leek, large diced and cleaned; one large sprig thyme; two bay leaves; 1o black peppercorns; 6 quarts cold water

1. Blanch the chicken pieces

Place the chicken in a large stockpot.

Cover completely with tap water.

Heat to simmering on high. Cook for five minutes, periodically skimming foam and impurities from the surface of the water.

Turn off the heat and skim off any remaining impurities.

Drain the chicken in a colander; rinse and wipe out the stockpot.

2. Make the stock

Return the chicken to the stockpot and add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, leek, thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns and water.

Heat to simmering on high.

Reduce the heat to low. Cook, uncovered, occasionally skimming off foam and impurities, for six to eight hours, until the liquid is reduced in volume to about 4 quarts.

3. Strain and cool the stock

Pour the stock through a fine-mesh strainer into a second clean pot or large heatproof container. Discard the solids.

Fill a large bowl or the sink with ice. Set the pot of strained stock in the ice.

Cool the finished stock to room temperature. Store for up to three days in sealed containers in the refrigerator or freeze right away and use within 3 months.

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