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Thinking of no turkey

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  • rkn Nov 14, 2004 06:15 AM
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Does anyone not have turkey on Thanksgiving? What are you having instead of turkey (not interested in vegetarian substitutions -sorry)?

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  1. I have been informed by my mother-in-law that we are having BBQ ribs and jambalya. She's trying a caterer this year.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MkeLaurie

      I made a standing rib roast one year (it was gorgeous) Yorkshire pudding, horseradish sauce, and other stuff I don't remember. What everyone said they missed most was the soup that always results from the turkey carcass! I stuck with turkey after that.

    2. My husband hates turkey, the only time he'll eat it is deli turkey breast on a turkey club, SO...every year, I make something else instead...I usually make some sort of baked chicken breasts, or I've done shrimp or scallops also-- this year, I'm making apricot chicken breasts with french black olives, and a pistachio wild rice, along with cinnamon cranberries, and a caesar salad.......no stuffing this year, and probably some sort of sweet potato thing, but I'm still not sure,,,,,I think I want to just have them roasted with rosemary, something simple...not a casserole type thing...then for dessert I'm having, chocolate pecan tart (i'm not making it,,,know where to get an amazing one here in queens, NY), and a banana tart, and an apple tart...fresh whipped cream, and probably some fresh fruit salad.......that's it!!

      1. I've done roasts, all sorts of poultry, Corninsh Hens, Ducks etc. I was thinking about ordering moulard duck breasts from D'Artagnan this year but one of their mailings announced wild turkeys. I've not done one of them before and they are small and there are only going to be 5 of us at dinner so I think I will do it. Their game cook book has a couple of interesting recipes in it for wild turkey.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Candy

          Some of the game birds from d'Artagnan look like very good options.

          I have often served wild game for Thanksgiving, not bought from anywhere posh but killed by family members.

          1. re: Candy

            We did one of their wild turkeys a year or two ago and it was great.

          2. Capon. Much more delicious than turkey. And smaller.

            Duck breasts and leg quarters (very easy to get at Asian markets) are easier than whole duck or goose.

            Last year, my parents opted for ribeyes on the grill instead of turkey. For that matter, a standing rib-roast is sooo easy to prepare for a large crowd.

            1. Well, any sort of roast makes a festive meal. A ham, a goose, whatever. Prime rib is always nice if your family likes it. Remember this rule of thumb: The more expensive the roast, the less work involved in preparing it. A prime rib is a snap to fix and then you can serve popovers or Yorkshire pudding!

              1 Reply
              1. re: Dorothy

                mm - thanks! We are having prime rib this year and popovers sound great.

              2. Well, any sort of roast makes a festive meal. A ham, a goose, whatever. Prime rib is always nice if your family likes it. Remember this rule of thumb: The more expensive the roast, the less work involved in preparing it. A prime rib is a snap to fix and then you can serve popovers or Yorkshire pudding!

                1. Well, I'm taking a large contigency of out of town relatives - insistent on coming while I'm in the thick of moving - to a favored Chinese restaurantfor a different kind of feast.

                  1. I loathe turkey. The flavor is insipid and the damn thing is impossible to cook properly (yeah, I know there are all these logistical gymnastics that you can do to get the dark and white meat to end up cooked more-or-less OK, but why bother?). If it's such a great culinary delight, why do most people eat it once or, at most, twice a year?

                    I've cooked just about anything BUT a turkey, most of the suggestions that previous posters have offered, for Thanksgiving for many years. The best substitute, and one that you'll be talking about for a long time, is a fresh ham. That is, a whole hind leg of a pig, the part that gets made into ham, but while it's still pork. It's about as big as a medium to large turkey, makes a grand thing to carve at the table, is simple to cook properly, and you'll get the best gravy of your life. You often need to special order one, but you shouldn't have any trouble finding a market that'll do that.

                    My second choice would be a standing rib roast, small-end if possible.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: FlyFish

                      We hada fresh ham for a GOurmet Club dinner about 3 weeks ago. It was wonderful and moist adn juicy. Be sure to lift the skin off and return it to the oven to crisp up into cracklings to crumble over each serving.

                    2. I've never done this, but I would love to start a seafood tradition for Thanksgiving. The inlaws are pretty traditional though and are resistant. I'd like to have boiled and fried shrimp, fried catfish and oysters, boiled crawfish if in season, etc. You get the idea.
                      Spencer

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Spencer

                        For years I always said I wanted Rocfish (aka striped bass) for Thanksgiving but my mother always nixed the idea (she hated fish) Now that she's gone, I have had rockfish stuffed with imperial crab for the last several years. Mind you my dinners are small now, as opposed to years in the past where I have fed up to 20 people. I'm always thankful for a wonderful meal & never feel overstuffed at the end of the day. (Nor do I have to worry about my glucose levels)

                      2. I always make turkey for T-giving (mainly for tradition than b/c I love it), but perhaps you might consider what I made for Xmas last year:

                        Roast pork loin stuffed w/ prunes, apricots, & thyme

                        It was so easy and delicious, and the drippings made a wonderful gravy. Side dishes that I can recall: cream of cauliflower soup w/ pumpkin seeds, braised red cabbage w/ green apples; garlic mashed potatoes; maple glazed carrots...made a Buche de Noel for dessert since it was Xmas. We had several kids at dinner and they actually liked most of the food.

                        Hmmm...I'm drawing a complete blank on my recipe source for the pork, so hopefully you can hunt one down if you decide to go that route.

                        1. Roast duck with apple stuffing complemented by red cabbage and potato dumplings. (=Czech stuff)

                          1. Personally I think turkey is overrated (plus my husband is a vegetarian) so we often have fish for thanksgiving -- wild salmon or sushi grade tuna.

                            1. I have to say I'm a fan of the turkey. My husband and I collaborate to make the most fantastic prosciutto and hazelnut encrusted turkey any of our guests have ever had involving brining and several other techniques. I think the reason you only eat it once, maybe twice, a year is because it's labor-intensive....that doesn't make it any less delicious, in my opinion.

                              But I digress: we also do salmon every year, as well, to accomodate those guests that don't like (or don't eat) turkey. Last year we did a roasted salmon with a mix of salt, pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, sugar, garlic, and onion powders on top and a scallion, roasted red pepper, corn, and garlic (with a bit of honey and white wine) relish on the top. This year we're doing a maple and rum salmon. It's become a great tradition in our house.

                              Good luck!

                              1. My first Thanksgiving away from home was at a friend's house, they had a turkey but it wasn't the centerpiece of the meal. We had raviolis, lasagna and ham, I felt like such a rebel. Another year when I was away from the folks my housemate and I hosted a Ciopinno dinner, it was great. I don't think I can forgo making turkey every year, but it is nice to break it up. This year both my in-laws and my family are on a trip so I'm thinking of making the portabello mushroom-proscuitto lasagna I saw on epicurious. It has been calling to me.

                                1. I'm going to try duck this year. I've never made one. I haven't made up my mind beween CI's steamed whole duck, separated and roasted, and a duck breast thing.

                                  1. I beginning to consider doing gamehens this year...so easy and fast!