Here are five options for doing away with the turkey. The first three still give you turkey; for some, this American fowl is simply necessary for Thanksgiving dinner. But if you're willing to get a little more daring, there are a couple non-turkey options too. Still Want Turkey?
- Cook the turkey in pieces - Honestly, this is my favorite way to cook and eat turkey. I never thought I liked turkey until I had it this way. A few years ago I did this Bittman-style, braising the legs with mushrooms and sausage, and roasting the breast separately. It's still a lot of work, but everything is oh-so-delicious. Roasting just a breast also falls into this category; it's a lot quicker and more manageable than a whole turkey. • Read more on the Bittman method: Recipe Review: Mark Bittman's Braised Turkey
- Cook the turkey in another form - If you don't need leftover sliced or braised turkey for post-holiday sandwiches, then what about another sort of turkey dish? For a small, casual Thanksgiving try one of these: • Barbecue Turkey Meatloaf • Turkey Koftas with Toasted Pita • Turkey Meatballs over Greens
- Let someone else do the work (a.k.a buy your turkey) - And then there is the option for happy cheaters. Last year, I braised turkey legs, but I bought a smoked turkey breast from a local food truck. This was a smashing success: My guests loved the turkey breast so much more than the home-cooked turkey. It's a great way to support local businesses, and it lets you focus on the fun dishes of Thanksgiving. If this appeals to you, look around for local folks doing smoked or deep-fried turkeys.
- Roast a chicken or two - For small Thanksgiving suppers, a chicken or two will suffice, and they're rather less time-consuming. Here's how to roast a chicken (so easy!). • How To Roast a Chicken
- Create a new tradition, with another festive food - You could try something really new, too, like this reader who is holding a tamales or carnitas. If you don't love turkey, then think outside of the box and try a new tradition!