Chowhounds who don’t have a natural affinity for turkey are trying new things for Thanksgiving—or using turkey in unexpected ways. “One year when the kids were little, I made a turkey and stuffing … and found out that I love turkey broth made from the roasted carcass, the pan drippings, and all the overdone bits of wings and legs that stuck out,” says jmcarthur8. “I make chicken broth regularly, and finally noticed that turkey broth has such a rich flavor in comparison. So I make a turkey every year mostly for the soup afterward.”
“I cooked a batch of quail for Thanksgiving a few years ago and put everyone into a state of shock,” says Leper. “However, they were converts by the end of the dinner. A fun, tasty alternative to a giant bird filled with chemicals.”
jmcarthur8’s mother had a novel solution to keeping a turkey basted. “My mother used to cover the top of the whole turkey with a carefully draped remnant of my father’s worn-out and extremely washed boxers, soaked in butter,” says jmcarthur8. “She basted it every half hour with butter, then with drippings once there were enough to squirt over the bird. Her bacon, mushroom, and turkey liver stuffing was the bomb! I still do mine the same way, EXCEPT that I use a couple layers of cheesecloth instead of anyone’s boxers!”
“I’m sticking with spaghetti alla carbonara, in solidarity with Calvin Trillin,” says greygarious.
Discuss: Rethinking bird day