Eight Superior Alternatives to Thanksgiving Turkey

Categories: Gobble Gobble

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This took days!
Cassoulet For some people, Thanksgiving is an opportunity to show off their impeccable kitchen skills, and it's not really T-Day unless they get to spend a solid week shopping and prepping and, finally, cooking. Cassoulet is the most complicated recipe we can think of offhand. It's a French casserole comprised of meat and beans. The version in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking contains a "Note on the Order of Battle" -- Julia is serious! -- and it takes three days to execute.

In theory, turkey preparation might take that long, but a lot of it is just waiting for the damned bird to defrost. If you want to get really fancy, maybe you could try a turchetta, but that takes a mere two days. The cassoulet scoffs, in the most French manner imaginable.

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The embodiment of autumn and domestic happiness.
Roast Chicken But maybe some people really, really crave the taste of poultry on Thanksgiving Day. We can accept that. But why go to all the trouble to make a turkey when you can roast a chicken in just a couple of hours and it's so darned easy? Seriously: Thomas Keller's recipe calls for just three ingredients, a chicken, salt and pepper (thyme is optional), and requires absolutely no special kitchen skills except for trussing the bird. It takes an hour to make, and, unlike most turkeys, it comes out juicy and delicious.

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