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Alternatives to Turkey for Thanksgiving


Alternatives to Turkey for Thanksgiving – Thanksgiving, at its core, is about gratitude, spending time with loved ones, and enjoying delicious food.

A traditional roasted turkey is the centerpiece at most American dinners, but it is far from the only option.

Alternatives to Turkey for Thanksgiving – It often feels like it’s assumed that turkey will be sitting front and center as the main course on Thanksgiving.

Alternatives to Turkey for Thanksgiving – Sure, it’s traditional, and the homemade turkey stock that follows cannot be beat, but it’s just one of so many great holiday options.

Perhaps a big turkey is far too much food for a couple people, feels like too much work after what feels like cooking nonstop for the past several months, or maybe this is the year you’re simply ready for a new tradition.

Alternatives to Turkey for Thanksgiving – Ready to skip the turkey this year? Alternatives to Turkey for Thanksgiving – Roasted Garlic Chicken, Duck Breasts, Glazed Ham, Tomahawk Pork Chops, Beef Rib Roast, Leg of Lamb are alternatives to Thanksgiving turkey that make for a totally special holiday dinner.


Alternatives to Turkey for Thanksgiving – Roasted Garlic Chicken

A bird for garlic lovers.

Pop the roasted cloves out of their skins and spread on crusty bread or stir into mashed potatoes for an accompaniment.

START TO FINISH 1 hour, 45 minutes (15 minutes active)
MAKES 4 servings

Roasted Garlic Chicken Instructions

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Remove organs and neck from chicken cavity; reserve for another use.

Pat chicken with paper towels.

Gently loosen the skin over the breast, thighs and legs.

In a small bowl, mix butter, parsley, salt, pepper and 5 cloves of minced garlic.

Spoon half of the butter mixture underneath the skin and inside the cavity.

Stuff cavity with 2 half-heads of garlic.

Tuck the wing tips beneath the bird and tie the legs .

Spread remaining butter mixture over skin.

Place breast-side up in a roasting pan.

Place remaining half-heads of garlic in pan and drizzle with oil.

Roast chicken for 1 1/2 hours (exact time will depend on weight of chicken), periodically turning the pan and basting the chicken with pan and basting the chicken with pan juices, until a probe thermometer inserted into the thigh (without touching the bone) registers 65 F.

Tent with foil if the kin becomes too dark during roasting.

Remove from oven, let stand for 20 minutes before carving.

Serve with roasted garlic

Roasted Garlic Chicken Ingredients

1 (5-6 pound) roasting chicken
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 heads garlic,


Alternatives to Turkey for Thanksgiving – Molasses-Pineapple Glazed Ham

Favorite Molasses brings deep, dark caramel notes to the party.

START TO FINISH 3 hours (10 minutes active) MAKES 12servings

Molasses-Pineapple Glazed Ham Cooking Instructions

Preheat oven to 300 F.
Score top of ham in a crosshatch pattern.
In a bowl, combine molasses, Pineapple, mustards, sugar, pepper, cloves and nutmeg.
Brush half of mixture on ham.
Place ham fat side up on rack set into a foil wrapped rimmed baking sheet.
Bake 20 minutes per pound (about 2 1/2 hours for an 8-pound ham).
Tent with foil if the glaze begins to become too dark during baking.
Let rest 20 minutes before slicing.

Molasses-Pineapple Glazed Ham Cooking Ingredients

1 (7-to 9-pound) smoked
bone-in half ham
1/4 cup unsulphured molasses
1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4teaspoon nutmeg


Alternatives to Turkey for Thanksgiving – Orange-Maple Glazed Duck Breasts

A platter of sliced duck breast makes for a luxurious nontraditional Thanksgiving offering.

Look for magret duck breasts, which are larger than the more common Pekin variety, and each will serve 2 heartily when sliced.

START TO FINISH 40 minutes
(15 minutes active) MAKES 4 servings

Orange-Maple Glazed Duck Breasts Cooking Instructions

Zest oranges, then peel and cut into segments or supremes (reserve juice); set aside.

Using a sharp knife, score the skin of each duck breast in a crosshatch pattern.

Season with salt and pepper. In a skillet over medium-low heat, place breasts skin-side down and allow fat to render and skin to brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Turn breasts and cook for 3 to 5 minutes more,
or until a probe thermometer registers 120 F.

Remove from pan and tent with foil to keep warm. Drain fat, leaving 1 tablespoon.

Add diced shallot to skillet and saute until softened, about 5 minutes.

Stir in reserved orange juice and orange segments, maple syrup, soy sauce and red pepper flakes; raise heat to medium-high to reduce sauce, about 3 minutes.

To serve, slice duck breasts and pour sauce on top; garnish with chives or scallions.

Orange-Maple Glazed Duck Breasts Cooking Instructions

2 oranges
2 magret duck breasts (about 1. pounds each)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 shallot, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Sliced chives or scallions, for


Alternatives to Turkey for Thanksgiving – Honey-Bourbon Tomahawk Pork Chops

A tomahawk pork chop is a tenderloin cut with the rib bone attached. Brushing on the honey glaze near the end of cooking allows it to caramelize instead of burning.

START TO FINISH 30 minutes

(20 minutes active) MAKES 4 servings

Honey-Bourbon Tomahawk Pork Chops Cooking Instructions

Brush grill pan with canola oil and preheat over medium-high heat.
In a microwave-safe bowl, add butter; melt in 15-second bursts, then whisk in garlic, honey and bourbon.
Season chops with salt and pepper.

Place chops on grill pan and sear 8 to 10 minutes per side, working in batches if needed. Brush each chop with butter mixture and grill 2 to 3 minutes more on each side, or until a probe thermometer registers 145 F.
Let rest for 10 minutes.
Before serving, brush with additional butter mixture.

Honey-Bourbon Tomahawk Pork Chops Ingredients

Canola oil, for brushing grill pan
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon bourbon
4 tomahawk pork chops (about 3/4 -1 pound each)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


Alternatives to Turkey for Thanksgiving – Roast a Leg of Lamb

Serves 10, depending on size of the leg
COOK TIME 1 hour 30 minutes

Roast a Leg of Lamb Cooking Instructions

Rub the lamb with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Take the leg of lamb out of the refrigerator about an hour before cooking so it comes closer to room temperature.

This promotes faster, more even cooking. Set the lamb in a rack inside a roasting pan.

Drizzle with the olive oil and rub all over into the fat and meat.

Season generously all over with salt and pepper. Position the lamb so that it is fat-side down.

Broil for 5 minutes. Arrange an oven rack so that the top of the lamb is a few inches from the broiler element. Heat the broiler.

Broil until the surface of the lamb looks seared and browned, about 5 minutes.

Flip the lamb over and broil the other side. Flip the leg over and put back under the broiler until the other side is seared, about 5 minutes more.

Top with garlic and rosemary.

Take the lamb out of the oven.

Turn off the broiler and set the oven temperature to 325°F.

Reposition the oven rack to the middle of the oven. Rub the top of the lamb with the garlic and rosemary.
Cover the lamb loosely with foil and roast 1 hour.

Tent the pan loosely with aluminum foil to keep the garlic and rosemary from burning.

Put the lamb back in the oven and roast for 1 hour.
Uncover and take the temperature.

Uncover the lamb. Take its temperature with an instant-read thermometer in the thickest part not touching bone.

The lamb is ready when the temperature is 135°F or above.

At 135°F the lamb is cooked to rare, but it will continue cooking as it rests, so we recommend taking it out of the oven at 135°F for medium-rare to medium.

If the lamb is not ready, continue cooking uncovered until it reaches your desired internal temperature, checking the temperature every 20 minutes.

Figure out where to carve.

Let the lamb rest for at least 15 minutes before carving. Transfer the lamb to a clean cutting board.

The bone runs through the meat at an angle, giving you two fairly big pieces of meat on either side of the bone.

Start with the side of meat that feels most accessible to you.
Cut the meat into slices across the grain.

Make straight, parallel cuts straight down through the thickest part of the meat until you hit the bone.

You should be cutting perpendicular to the bone, across the grain of the meat.

The slices will still be attached where they meet the bone.

Cut the slices off the bone.

Turn your knife so that it’s now parallel to the bone instead of perpendicular.

Starting at the end of the bone furthest from you, cut through the slices where they attach to the bone.

Keep your knife close to the bone so you get as much meat as possible, but don’t worry about getting every single scrap of meat right now — just focus on cutting cleanly through the big slices and you’ll get any leftover pieces later.

Transfer the slices to a serving platter. Place the slices on a serving platter.

Tent the platter with foil to keep the meat warm.

Roast a Leg of Lamb Cooking Instructions

1 (5 to 7 pound) bone-in leg of lamb
3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
6 cloves garlic, minced
Leaves from 3 fresh rosemary sprigs, coarsely chopped (about 1 tablespoon)

Alternatives to Turkey for Thanksgiving – Standing Beef Rib Roast with Pimentón

Active: 30 mins
Total: 3 hrs 30 mins
Serves 10

Standing Beef Rib Roast with Pimentón Cooking Instructions

It’s hard to believe that this showstopping roast is so incredibly simple. Be sure to use freshly ground pink peppercorns and a high-quality, crunchy pink salt, as those are the main components of this roast. Also, ask your butcher to keep the long frenched rib bones on for a truly jaw-dropping presentation.

Beef Rib Roast with Pimentón Cooking Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350°.
Let the rib roast stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
Season generously with pink salt and pepper.
In a small bowl, whisk the oil with the pimentón, then brush the oil all over the roast.
Set the meat in a large roasting pan bone side down and cover tightly with foil.
Roast for 2 hours, basting with the pan juices halfway through.
Uncover and roast, basting occasionally, until the outside is browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 115°, 30 minutes longer.
Transfer to a carving board and let rest for 30 minutes.
Discard the string, carve the meat and serve.
Pass additional pink salt and pepper at the table.

Standing Beef Rib Roast with Pimentón Ingredients

One 4-rib, 9-pound prime rib roast, frenched and tied
Himalayan pink salt
Freshly ground pink peppercorns
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons pimentón de la Vera (sweet smoked Spanish paprika)

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