When it comes to tradition, nobody will dispute the place that turkey has on the Thanksgiving table. But for those who don’t care for this fine fowl, or those who are feeding a small gathering, there are delicious options. Read on for several turkey alternatives for your holiday meal.
1. Go for a Goose
Another classic bird for special occasions is the goose. Perfect for roasting, the goose offers dark meat, and a distinctive flavor that pairs well with fruits of the season. It’s a traditional holiday bird in many European countries, and it can be your new tradition too.
2. Count on Capon
Try roasting a capon, smaller than a turkey, but larger than a chicken and voted most popular poultry by Italian and French families who center their holidays around these tender, richly flavored birds. While you can roast a capon, you might also stuff it with foie gras and cook it au pot style, for savory results.
3. Wild About Game Birds
From Guinea hen to pheasant, there are smaller birds that can be roasted in whatever quantity you need. These game birds are just right for the holiday season, are flexible to the size of your gathering, and offer something a little different for your guests. Serve each diner their own personal bird and let them handle the carving. Try our exclusive jumbo French quail or Rohan duck, squab, or even wild Scottish game birds.
4. Heritage Ham
Why not plan your holiday meal around our impressive ham? D’Artagnan hams are handcrafted from heritage-breed pork, seasoned with just the right touch of brown sugar and salt and smoked over real wood. You can truly taste the difference this treatment makes in every bite. Our recipe for the perfect ham glaze is easy and delicious.
5. The Best Beef: Wagyu
Wagyu beef is extraordinary; well-marbled and sumptuous, it is the pinnacle of beef. We offer domestically-raised Wagyu beef that would be the star of any holiday dinner, as well as genuine A-5 Wagyu beef imported from Japan, which could be described as the best beef in the world. Any meal with Wagyu beef at the center will be talked about for years to come.
6. Special Occasion Pork: Porcelet
Exclusively available at D’Artagnan, Porcelet is the pork equivalent to veal; milk-fed piglets that offer succulent pork unlike any other. Try our recipe for Crackling Roast Porcelet Rack with Fennel & Apples or Roast Porcelet Porchetta with Garlic and Herbs (see featured image) for impressive dishes that will star as the center of the feast.
7. Luscious Leg of Lamb
Truly fit to be the centerpiece of a dinner party, leg of lamb is easy to prepare. Rub with herbs and pop in the oven, basting a few times. You’ll end up with a gorgeous centerpiece roast that will draw oohs and aahs.
8. Lord of the Manor: Venison
Venison was most likely on the menu at the original feast of Thanksgiving. With rich red meat full of iron, zinc and other vitamins, venison is leaner than beef and quite flavorful. Venison also pairs well with the vegetables of the season: squash, pumpkin, chard, turnips, and any kind of potato. An oven-roasted venison rib rack looks beautiful on a platter, and loin of venison will feed a good-sized group.
9. One-Pot Meal: Cassoulet
This classic dish of preserved duck, sausage and beans is the very soul of traditional Gascon cooking. If cassoulet is the center of the party in Southwest France, it will definitely liven up your Thanksgiving meal. This convivial dish is perfect for sharing with family or friends (along with robust red wine), and you need very little in the way of side dishes. A salad should suffice. Our cassoulet recipe kit will serve 12 people, so invite away!