5 Ways to Reinvent the Classic Thanksgiving Dinner

November 22, 2014

I know it is sacrilegious to get rid of a a turkey on Thanksgiving but there are others ways to spice up this traditional American meal to make it extraordinary.  Whether it's incorporating a different flavor profile or simply serving cider instead of wine, this year mix up your Thanksgiving dinner with these five tips and tricks.

1. Spatchcock the turkey.  This cooking method removes the backbone to flatten the bird and allow for even browning.  Best of all, the turkey cooks in half the time so that the meat is juicer and the skin is crispier.  Learn how to spatchcock a turkey this thanksgiving here.

2. Share the spotlight. In addition to the turkey, offer your friends and family another meat option such as a maple glazed ham or roasted pork tenderloin with apple brandy sauce to choose from on the Thanksgiving table.

3. Revamp your side dishes. Don't throw out the baby with the bath water - we are certainly not suggesting you give up your favorite side dishes but merely serve them a little differently this year.  This might mean adding a bit of sour cream to the mashed potatoes, serve twice baked sweet potatoes instead of sweet potato casserole, or offer sauteed green beans with garlic and sliced almonds as the main vegetable.

4. Serve cider instead of wine.  Cider is to Americans what wine is to the French.  It was one of the first alcoholic beverages to be produced in the US and it is only fitting that it would be poured on this very American holiday.  Craft ciders are widely available now and they range from sweet to dry.

5. Use your spice cabinet.  As the saying goes, variety is the spice of life. Use your culinary creativity and flavor your Thanksgiving with chiles, soy sauce, bacon grease, miso, and nutty cheeses, just to name a few.

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