Top 10 Alternatives to a Traditional Thanksgiving Roast Turkey
Obviously anything could be an alternative to a traditional roast turkey for Thanksgiving, from a ribeye steak to a deep fried turkey. But I wanted to pick foods you know would work (because of their association with native Americans, for instance) or that I've actually served or had served to me.
By the way, I'm cooking this year and I'm having a traditional roast turkey dinner. I was just talking to my brother, who's coming from the West Coast, and he says he's bringing some interesting recipes he got from Sunset magazine. He's talking about adding Swiss chard to the stuffing.
Sorry. No way.
Here's my list: ...
* Wild duck with sauerkraut (particularly appropriate because Baltimoreans eat sauerkraut with Thanksgiving dinner anyway, which I've never understood)
* Goose with fruit stuffing. Unfortunately the one time I cooked a wild goose (a hunter friend had brought it to my in-laws), it also contained buckshot.
* Native American foods like beans, squash and corn for vegetarians and vegans
* Turducken (partially boned turkey stuffed with boned chicken stuffed with boned duck)
* Small roast chicken with cornbread-pecan stuffing for a couple or people eating alone
* I make a very good stuffed ham (with a bread stuffing where the bone would be). I haven't tried it for Thanksgiving, but I think it would be an easy make-in-advance choice that would taste good with traditional sides.
* An old college friend invited us to Thanksgiving once and served each of us a whole lobster. Lobster didn't go very well with the side dishes the rest of us had brought, but it was so wonderfully extravagant no one was complaining.
* My sister-in-law, using recipes from Gourmet magazine, served curried turkey breast with cranberry chutney one Thanksgiving. Her family was outraged, but it sounded kind of good to me for a change.
* In some places on the West Coast, Dungeness crab is a common alternative to turkey because the season starts in November.
* Crown roast of pork with wild rice stuffing. Pork has a autumn feeling to it (I would never serve it for Christmas dinner even though I know it can be traditional), and the fact that it's a crown roast makes it seem grand enough for an important meal.
(Photo of turducken by William Archie/Detroit Free Press/MCT)