Although turkey’s the most traditional Thanksgiving entrée, it’s not the only option for the holiday spread. Turkey can take forever to prep and cook and can cause insanity in the kitchen when you throw desserts and side dishes into the mix. Instead of overworking yourself this Thanksgiving, make an adventurous alternative and call it a day. These out-of-the-box dinner ideas are far easier and quicker, giving you more time to spend with the people you love. That’s the reason for the season anyway, right?
Salmon served over rice can be a great alternative to the traditional turkey, especially in the warm Florida weather. Prepare the salmon by spreading 3 tbsps of olive oil in the bottom of a baking dish, and then adding the fillet rubbed with another 3 tbsps of oil. Add the juice of 1 lemon, a couple dashes of pepper, salt and dried parsley, then leave the lemon slices on top of the fillet. Cover the baking dish then cook in a 350-degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove once the fish is almost fully cooked. Remember, the salmon will continue to cook inside for a few minutes after removed from the oven.
Tender Pork Roast
This pork roast with apples and pears is the perfect Thanksgiving entrée. It has the most delectable fall spices that will keep this dish on your holiday menu for years to come. To prepare, whisk together ¼ cup of olive oil, 1 tbsp of rosemary, sage and thyme and 1 clove of minced garlic. Season the pork with olive oil and then brush the herb mixture on top. Place the pork in a roasting pan and cook for 15 minutes at 425 degrees, then reduce to 375 degrees for another 30 minutes. Add 4 halved Pink Lady apples and 4 Seckel pears to the pan. Roast for another 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reads 145 degrees. Allow the pork to rest for 15 minutes before slicing. Serve the meat topped with the cooked apples and pears.
Indulgent Roasted Duck
Duck is another easy alternative to a turkey and goes well with all of the Thanksgiving sides you already make, such as green bean casserole, stuffing and cranberry sauce. To prepare the duck, you first need to whip up your favorite stuffing. Once it’s ready, season the duck with salt and pepper, then score ½ inch lines in a diagonal pattern across the breast. Place ½ cup of stuffing on top of the breast, then top with another duck breast (skin side down) and tie with twine. Repeat until you’ve prepped all of the duck breasts. Cook the duck for 5-7 minutes per side in a skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the fat from the skillet and place it in the oven at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes (the internal temp should reach at least 125 degrees). To make a sauce from the juices, put the duck breasts aside and add wine into the skillet, cook to reduce for 5 minutes. Add salt, pepper and butter, then pour through a sieve to remove any chunks before drizzling on the duck.
These alternatives to your usual Thanksgiving turkey are going to be a blessing for you this holiday. But if you want to make it even easier by letting someone else do the cooking, stop by Julington Creek Fish Camp and check out our grilled salmon with horseradish hollandaise, steamed spinach and parsley potatoes or our buttermilk pan-fried chicken with grits, collard greens and Tasso Ham gravy for your Thanksgiving alternatives. Enjoy your holiday!