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Okay, so it HAS to be turkey...recipes for a turkey hater?

We are hosting T-day this year and will have some visitors who expect a traditional meal (I don't usually do these when it's just family.) I'm fine with the side dishes and the veggie main dish once I come up with them, that is, but does anyone have a great turkey recipe--interesting marinade, sauce or rub that will make the turkey more fun to prepare and perhaps taste good? I'd thought of deep frying (because you could fry a sneaker and make it taste good), but am not comfortable with a vat of boiling oil in the driveway next to my 300 year old wood frame house and only a volunteer fire department serving my town.

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  1. Last time I had T-Day I had a brisket and ham. I don't care for turkey either. However, if you *must* have turkey, why not do a brisket or ham too? The brisket is sooo easy and I bought a Honey-baked ham. It can be a bit more expensive as you will be surprised how many people opt for the turkey alternative.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Gail

      I was planning on doing a roast leg of lamb and a mushroom bread pudding as my alternatives, but that brisket sounds like an easier alternative. I may try that!

      I am hoping to find a fun way to deal with the turkey, too. I hate cooking a big piece of meat that I don't like, so was hoping to have some new way of preparing it to make it more fun. Wonder if I should just do a turkey breast, since so many of us don't eat it.

      1. re: Isolda

        This is what we do....we use the Ina method on a turket breast....delish!

    2. Why not consider cornish game hens or squabs instead of turkey? These are delicious roasted & basted with a orange five spice glaze. Serve on a large platter with a bed of wild rice & everyone should love it

      2 Replies
      1. re: Cherylptw

        That sounds much better to me, but I'm wondering if the game hens would "count" if someone is really expecting turkey? I'd hate to disappoint people who have to have a certain dish. Maybe I could call them micro-turkeys?

        1. re: Isolda

          While it's not turkey, it is poultry so I'd think serving something along these lines would not be as disappointing as serving a non poultry item...Also, since you don't care for turkey, it could show the guests what you could do with a turkey less but satisfying nevertheless Thanksgiving....JMO.

      2. One year my sister boned a turkey breast and slit & pounded the meat to an even thickness, stuffed it with a Greek-flavored stuffing (spinach, feta, basil, oregano, lemon juice, bread crumbs, eggs, etc.), rolled it, tied it, and cooked it on a bed of carrots & celery with broth in a covered pan in the oven.

        it wasn't at all traditional, but it was very tasty. Plus, the turkey breast and stuffing can be prepped and stored separately the day before and just assembled before cooking.

        3 Replies
        1. re: weezycom

          That sounds seriously edible! We all love Greek food in this house (well, except for my son, but he's having his traditional pizza). Recipe, please?

          1. re: Isolda

            I'm afraid I don't have the recipe, I'm going from what I know I tasted & could see in it. The stuffing is similar to a spanokopita stuffing but amped up with bread crumbs and broth or something added for some additional moisture to counterbalance the bread crumbs.

            1. re: weezycom

              I just remembered one other thing about the rolled turkey -- before she tied it off, my sister had wrapped it in cheesecloth that had been soaked in water and then brushed with oil on the turkey side of the wrapping to keep the shape symmetrical, the contents from shifting and even cooking.

        2. Last year we hosted Thanksgiving and I don't care for turkey and neither did some other guests so I made another main and turned the turkey into pulled "pork". Cooked the bird till falling off the bone in the crock pot (took 2 crocks to stuff all the parts into) and then shredded and seasoned with the broth and liquid smoke. Made good leftovers.

          2 Replies
          1. re: onigiri

            Did you brown the turkey first before stuffing it into the pots? Seasonings other than liquid smoke? (Not that liquid smoke isn't enough!)

            1. re: Isolda

              Didn't brown the turkey. Just added chicken and vegetable broth to keep it from burning in the crock pot. Added liquid smoke to the broth and salt to taste and then mixed it into the shredded meat.

          2. Fry the turkey....Two of them.....12-14 pounds each.....No larger

            Enjoy!

            2 Replies
            1. re: Uncle Bob

              Agree that two small turkeys are better than one big one. We had an 11-pounder one year and it was the best turkey I'd ever had.

              Spatchcocking the turkeys also helps, if you're going to go the oven-roasted route.

              1. re: operagirl

                Spatchcocked Greek with lots of lemon juice and oregano, etc.
                Mexican Turkey in Mole.