Thanksgiving. I love the premise of this holiday. I like that it encourages us to get back to the table with family & friends to celebrate & reflect on all that we have to be grateful for. I love cooking for a crowd, and I'm good at it. But, I have a confession: I don't like what is involved with cooking a turkey. I actually dread it. And, I know I'm not alone. So, today, I want to share a few alternatives & accompanying recipes with those of you who might be exploring other options as you are creating holiday menus.
The alternatives I'm sharing here today apply to you regardless of your situation. Maybe you're getting ready to host a small Thanksgiving/Friendsgiving gathering where prepping a 14 pound bird is just not practical. Or, maybe you're keeping things simple and settling in for a nice, quiet family holiday where preparing a large bird would be setting you up to waste a lot of food after the appeal of leftovers has worn off. Perhaps you are hosting a larger gathering and in addition to the turkey, you want to offer something different, too. I've got you covered.
If nothing else, maybe this will inspire you to branch out and try something new this holiday.
Bon Appetit & Happy Thanksgiving!
Alternative #1) DON'T BUY A WHOLE BIRD
Say Whaaaat?? Yep, you read that right. Instead, consider looking for a bone in turkey breast. They are far easier to clean, cook in far less time and can be equally delicious. Check out this link to a recipe for Maple-Glazed Roast Turkey Breast in a Cornbread "Nest." https://www.bigoven.com/recipe/maple-glazed-roast-turkey-breast-in-a-cornbread-nest/109226
Alternative #2) CORNISH GAME HENS
What I love about these is that they resemble mini turkeys, so everyone at your table can have their own individual bird to enjoy. These can also be halved for those with smaller appetites and kids. They can still be served with all of the other traditional Turkey Day sides, but I think they have an elegant quality to them. Here's a recipe that won't disappoint. And, it's on the table in about an HOUR!!! https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/76939/glazed-cornish-game-hens-with-apricot-pistachio-dressing/
Alternative #3) CONSIDER PRIME RIB
Yes, it may seem counter-intuitive to serve beef instead of turkey on Thanksgiving, but I'm a rebel and I say, so what? This is actually a terrific addition to the table if you want to have a variety of proteins available and it isn't nearly as difficult to make as you might think. This recipe is simple but packs a ton of flavor (thanks, Bobby Flay)! https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/roast-prime-rib-with-thyme-au-jus-recipe-1944997 )
Alternative #4) GO FISH
Salmon. It's verstaile. It's easy to cook and it cuts back on calories so you can actually not feel guilty if you have a slice of pumpkin or apple pie. Or both. This recipe is actually one I've made at home on a busy weeknight and I love that it's basically all cooked in one pan. Take a peek! http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/252493/garlic-roasted-salmon-brussels-sprouts/
Alternative #5) DON'T PIG OUT, VEG OUT INSTEAD
I heard you scoff at me. Stop it! If you're looking to step up the veggies a little bit or if you have a vegetarian friend joining your table this year, why not surprise them with this Stuffed Acorn Squash? My husband is an aficionado of acorn squash--it's one of his favorite things, and truth be told, he's kind of a snob about it. But, this recipe was Hubby approved, so I'm sharing it here with you! https://cookieandkate.com/vegetarian-stuffed-acorn-squash-recipe/