HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Do you create unique foods? Get great advice

No turkey for Thanksgiving

onigiri Nov 1, 2011 10:07 PM

I know that sounds awful but my spouse is allergic to turkey (and chicken) and most of the relatives we have over don't eat too much either (we've tried many variations but we always have way too much leftover turkey). Ham is the usually on the menu, too but I'd like to add another festive main dish. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for the input!

  1. a
    Ajax32 Nov 3, 2011 01:52 PM

    A leg of lamb is always festive, although more associated with spring and Easter...
    How about a paella, with kinds of nice seafood like clams, lobsters and shrimp? It's definitely festive!

    1. e
      ellabee Nov 3, 2011 07:13 AM

      We always had scalloped oysters. I miss them every Thanksgiving (we have the straightjacket menu w my SO's family).

      1 Reply
      1. re: ellabee
        sandylc Nov 3, 2011 10:51 AM

        "we have the straightjacket menu w my SO's family)."

        That's funny! What a great way to phrase it....

      2. HillJ Nov 2, 2011 08:23 PM

        Leg of lamb
        And like another suggested, lasagna

        1. Emme Nov 2, 2011 08:08 PM

          you've got tons of suggestions, but...

          Brisket... since it goes with gravy, it still smacks of the spirit :)
          Salt Encrusted Whole Fish - i love the presentation of cracking it open!

          happy happy!

          1. f
            ForFoodsSake Nov 2, 2011 04:51 PM

            We've done beef tenderloin, london broil, and venison as alternative mains before!

            1. g
              gilintx Nov 2, 2011 03:14 PM

              How about leg of lamb? Or a whole beef tenderloin?

              1. j
                jsaimd Nov 2, 2011 01:57 PM

                We don't do turkey so we usually do rack of lamb. My husband doesn't like turkey and my kids had an unfortunate stomach flu one Thanksgiving and haven't gone back to the traditional meal since. Rack of lamb is elegant, but very simple to prepare.

                1 Reply
                1. re: jsaimd
                  Will Owen Nov 2, 2011 03:03 PM

                  We were at a party one time with a catering chef in the kitchen - much more swell that most things we go to - but the absolute hit of the evening were the "lamb lollipops" she kept sending out. Yes - she had simply roasted a lot of frenched racks to the rare stage beforehand, and was cutting these into single-rib pieces and finishing them in a hot oven. Not suggesting such an informal presentation for a TG dinner, necessarily, but it points the way to feeding a bunch of light eaters. Anybody can eat one rib, most folks two.

                2. cowboyardee Nov 2, 2011 12:55 PM

                  Can depend on how many people you have coming. But here are some options: crown rack of lamb, a standing rib roast, maybe a big whole roasted fish stuffed with herbs and garnished with lemon slices...

                  I think for Thanksgiving, the big impressive presentation is a nice part of the ritual. Any of the above keep that presentation element. Basically, I'm just rattling off meats that taste good and will look nice on a big platter in the middle of the table.

                  Picking a non-poultry meat that makes a nice presentation but also goes well with cranberry sauce and poultry stuffing is a little harder. Pork is probably your best bet if you want to keep the flavors playing well with each other.

                  1. f
                    freia Nov 2, 2011 12:30 PM

                    I think any kind of meal that you would have for a formalish Sunday dinner would work. It doesn't have to be elaborate, either, as long as its made with love. My personal favorite is stuffed pork tenderloin. This might work well, especially if you find a recipe that uses cranberries or fruit of some sort. It would definitely be reminiscent of turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce, is easy to make, and certainly is festive. Cooks.com has a bunch of great recipes on its site, I'd go with any of them.

                    1. s
                      suburban_mom Nov 2, 2011 11:55 AM

                      I made a standing rib roast one year for Thanksgiving. My husband and I both loved it but the kids staged a revolution over not having turkey.

                      1. Cynsa Nov 2, 2011 06:18 AM

                        For your 'no turkey/no chicken' menu, I'd go with salmon and oysters in addition to your ham. If shucking raw oysters, or barbecuing oysters isn't possible, maybe Oysters Florentine? or, Cioppino or, Gumbo? Crab or Jumbo Shrimp?
                        We're roasting a capon for this Thanksgiving -

                        1. u
                          ultimatepotato Nov 2, 2011 06:04 AM

                          Perhaps porchetta? Or, something that could work if you have a little time and enough fridge space, make your own gravalax. Do you have access to any game meat? I've found that serving something special like venison tends to smooth out any 'traditional' expectations. Although I've served Reindeer at Christmas before, so I might just be weird.

                          1. tcamp Nov 2, 2011 05:52 AM

                            One year we did a baked salmon to accomodate a family member who wasn't eating meat at the time. It was great and very popular with all.

                            1. TheHuntress Nov 2, 2011 03:42 AM

                              For my husbands birthday recently we did a veal rack. Our butcher sells amazing veal and I bought the rack pre-prepared/marinated (not something I normally do) to reduce work for myself on the day of the party. It took little over an hour in the oven, looked incredible and definitely impressed the carnivores! Most importantly it was absolutely delicious and is set to grace our plates more often.

                              1. opinionatedchef Nov 1, 2011 11:06 PM

                                that's so interesting; i've never heard of a poultry allergy. Duck too?

                                I would consider Beef Wellington as a 'festive dish': beef tenderloin and mushroom duxelles wrapped in puff pastry......

                                along those lines but w/ seafood, Salmon Coulibiac: salmon with rice and spinach and lemon or beschamel sauce, wrapped in puff pastry of filo.

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: opinionatedchef
                                  onigiri Nov 2, 2011 10:29 AM

                                  About the allergy - yes, duck, too. Add lettuce, celery, cinnamon, sage, mushrooms and a whole page of other foods he's allergic to.

                                  We sometimes have salmon sashimi for holiday dinners but I never thought of cooking a whole side of salmon! Thanks!

                                  1. re: onigiri
                                    opinionatedchef Nov 2, 2011 10:38 AM

                                    oni, just fyi, it doesn't have to be a whole side of salmon. can make the strudel/coulibiac any size you want. but you prob knew that alrdy.

                                    1. re: opinionatedchef
                                      sandylc Nov 2, 2011 06:51 PM


                                    2. re: onigiri
                                      sandylc Nov 2, 2011 06:49 PM

                                      Salmon Wellington is really good.

                                      1. re: onigiri
                                        nikkihwood Nov 2, 2011 09:31 PM

                                        Turkey makes me so ill. chicken, hen, duck, no. ??? Go figure. I miss turkey. Desperately.

                                        I agree with anything Salmon.

                                      2. re: opinionatedchef
                                        RGC1982 Nov 2, 2011 06:42 PM

                                        My brother was allergic to chicken, turkey and eggs when he was a child. He got asthma attacks if he ate those foods.

                                      3. f
                                        fourunder Nov 1, 2011 10:25 PM

                                        Along with turkey and all the trimmings and sides.....my family usually will have at least one or more of the following depending on how large the party gathering will be:

                                        Fresh Ham
                                        Cured/Glazed Spiral Ham
                                        Roast Rack Loin of Pork
                                        Standing Roast Prime Rib
                                        Lasagna or other Baked Pasta

                                        For the non-meat eaters.....there's always a large Mixed Seafood Salad served warm.

                                        This year, I'm thinking of having two slow roasted Flat Iron/Top Blade Roasts

                                        Show Hidden Posts