6 Mouth-Watering Turkey Alternatives For Thanksgiving

6 Mouth-Watering Turkey Alternatives For Thanksgiving

When most people think about grilling, they think about backyard barbecues and summertime.

While it’s true that grilling meats is a fantastic way to spend your hot summer nights, what about the rest of the year?

More specifically, what about fall and winter?

Just because the weather gets a little colder, it doesn’t mean you should turn your back on your favorite cooking method, right?

Just put on your best Elsa impression and pretend like the cold doesn’t bother you anyway.

6 Mouth-Watering Turkey Alternatives For ThanksgivingIn fact, one of the best ways to utilize your grilling expertise during colder months is for holiday meals.

Thanksgiving is already a time where we stuff our faces until we can’t move, so why not make it a grilling holiday?

After all, cooking up meat is what the barbecue is for in the first place.

“How am I going to fit a whole turkey on the grill?” you ask, incredulously.

The fact is you don’t.

If we’re going to buck tradition by firing up the barbecue in late November, then why waste the opportunity by sticking with a boring old turkey?

This is especially true when there are so many other options out there.

If you want to create a truly memorable Thanksgiving holiday, forget the Butterball and try out one of these six other birds instead.

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Grilling GooseAnotherpintplease.com

Goose

If you thought that bringing out a whole turkey was dramatic, then wait until your family sees you grilling goose to perfection.

Technically speaking, the best way for grilling goose over an open flame is to dismember it first.

While it would certainly look beautiful to bring a whole bird into the house, the fact is that you will have uneven cooking times which could lead to undercooked meat.

Grilling Goose IngredientsThat being said, here is a delicious German recipe for grilling goose breasts.

Guten Appetit!

Ingredients

  • Geese Breasts (at least four)
  • Two cans of beer (your choice)
  • 1 ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • One tsp garlic salt or powder
  • Salt and pepper for flavor
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • One tsp liquid meat tenderizer
  • Oil

Preparation

First, pierce the breasts with little slits so you can pack them seasoning.

Rub the salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, meat tenderizer and Worcestershire sauce until they are nice and covered.

Then, place the breasts into a bag and pour your favorite beer into it.

If necessary, sample the beer for quality control before pouring.

Seal the bag and marinate for at least one hour.

If needed, taste the beer again to make sure you made the right choice.

Once the breasts are sufficiently soaked, then you can toss them on the grill.

If they get dry, brush oil on them as needed.

While cooking, continue to sample the beer for quality assurance.

(Can you see part of the enjoyment is the beer sampling?)

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Throw the duck on the grillMapleleaffarms.com

Duck

You know what’s better than a goose on the table?

Duck on the table.

Yes, waterfowl is a delicious alternative to a regular turkey.

The best part is that you don’t have to worry about having dry, tasteless white meat.

Typically, duck is like cooking goose in that you should dismember it to ensure that all pieces are cooked all the way through the meat.

However, we know how dramatic it is to serve an entire bird to the family, which is why we have a recipe that allows you to grill the whole bird in one take.

Just make sure that the duck still has the skin on it, otherwise it will dry out under the intense heat of the grill.Ingredients

Ingredients

  • One whole duck (duck yeah!)
  • One tbsp Kosher salt
  • 1 ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • One tsp paprika
  • One orange
  • One head garlic
  • Two celery stalks

Preparation

First, cut the orange into fourths and the celery stalk into smaller pieces.

Then make sure that the garlic is peeled and ready to go.

Once that’s done, rinse your whole duck to clean the skin and the meat before patting it dry.

Then poke the skin with a fork, being careful not to puncture the meat.

If you do stab the meat, then it could dry it out and no one wants that.

Mix all the dry seasoning and rub it onto the duck.

Make sure to coat the outside and inside thoroughly.

Then stuff the orange, garlic and celery into the cavity of the duck.

Fold the neck skin over to seal the cavity and use a skewer to secure it.

For the grill, you will need a drip pan underneath the duck unless you want to create a huge mess in the bottom of your grill.

You can use a gas grill or charcoal with the drip pan.

If you use charcoal, you’ll need to add new briquettes every hour while cooking.

If you use a gas grill, warm it up by blasting the heat on high for a few minutes, then reduce to medium-low heat for cooking.

Place the duck breast-side up and cook for an hour and a half.

Take the drip pan out to drain.

If you want, you can save some of the drippings to pour over the duck to get a nice, crispy, fatty skin.

Once the drip pan is replaced, turn the duck over and cook for another hour or so.

Check the meat after half an hour and then check every 10 minutes.

Once it’s tender, you can take the bird out of the grill.

Again, you can pour the duck fat over it and then cook for another ten minutes to crisp the skin.

Once it’s off the grill, let it sit for about 15 minutes before carving.

You can toss the orange and celery pieces, but save the roasted garlic if you want to use it for anything else.

Throw the quail on the grillGrillinggirlblog.com

Quail

If game meats are more your thing, then quail is a fantastic option.

Quail may be small in size, but they make up for in flavor and presentation.

While bringing out a big bird for the whole family is impressive, having a whole bird for each of your guests is e-quail-ly stunning (sorry).

This recipe comes from Texas, so don’t mess with it.

IngredientsIngredients

  • Whole quails (as many as you need)
  • Two ounces olive oil
  • Two garlic cloves (minced)
  • Two tbsp creole seasoning
  • Several sprigs of thyme
  • Several sprigs of rosemary
  • Several sprigs of oregano
  • Several sprigs of cilantro

Preparation

Mix the herbs and oil together. Soak the quails overnight, or for at least three hours (to lessen the fat content).

Sprinkle Creole seasoning on each side of the birds.

A light coating of Creole seasoning is best, otherwise it overwhelms the taste of the meat.

Grill on high heat for five to ten minutes until cooked.

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Throw the chicken on the grillWeber.com

Chicken

We know what you’re thinking.

Yes, chicken is another “boring” bird, but we’re not talking about throwing some wings on the grill or even chicken breasts.

Instead, up your grill game by roasting a whole chicken all at once.

If you enjoy a challenge, then you’ll love this Sicilian recipe.

IngredientsIngredients

  • One whole chicken
  • Seven garlic cloves
  • Two tsp Kosher salt
  • Two tbsp lemon juice
  • Six tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup lemon juice (for chicken)
  • ¼ cup olive oil (for chicken)
  • One tbsp regular salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper

Preparation

Before you prep the chicken, you will want to make a “Mediterranean Drizzle.”

This drizzle consists of six tablespoons olive oil, one pressed clove of garlic, Kosher salt and two tablespoons lemon juice.

First, grind the salt and garlic together into a paste and then add lemon juice and finally the oil.

For the chicken, you will be cooking on the grill, but not over an open flame.

Instead, have one side on medium-high heat, or one half with lit briquettes, and place the chicken on the other side that’s not lit.

Before cooking, soak the chicken in a broth made of ½ cup of lemon juice, ¼ cup olive oil, one tablespoon salt, and ½ teaspoon ground black pepper.

Place the mixture in a bag and then rub the chicken inside to coat it.

Let soak for at least one hour.

For best results, let marinate for a day.

For cooking, place the bird on the unlit side of the grill, breast-side down.

Ideally, you will tie the legs together.

Cook for 45 minutes.

Flip over and cook for another 35 minutes or so, until the inside reads at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit on a thermometer.

Take the chicken out and let sit for 10 minutes.

Carve and use the Mediterranean Drizzle for added flavor.

Throw the cornish on the grllGrillingwino.com

Cornish Game Hen

If you want all the flavor of chicken but in a delicious pint-sized offering, then Cornish game hen for Thanksgiving is the best way to go.

Serve a whole one or just half to each guest, depending on the size.

What’s great about these hens is that the meat stays juicier and won’t dry out as fast.

Here we have a recipe for jerk game hens.

That’s not an insult; that’s what the recipe is called.

IngredientsIngredients

  • Four Cornish game hens
  • One bunch of scallions
  • One bell pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • Six garlic cloves
  • Two tbsp thyme
  • One tbsp allspice
  • One tbsp peeled ginger
  • One tbsp brown sugar
  • One chili pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh Ground Pepper

Preparation

Before you cook the hens, you’ll need to make the jerk sauce.

The sauce is made with the scallions, olive oil, thyme, garlic, ginger, allspice, lime juice, brown sugar and the chopped bell pepper.

Mix all of it in a food processor to make a thick syrupy paste.

Save a little bit for serving.

Once the sauce is ready, take the hens and rub with salt and pepper.

For best results, poke a few holes into the meat.

Cover the hens with the jerk sauce.

For cooking, you will need direct and indirect heat.

Gas grills can light just one side, and charcoal grills can have briquettes on one side.

Place the hens on the unlit side and cook for about 15 minutes.

The skin should be golden brown at this point.

Then move to the direct heat and cook for another 10 minutes or so.

Take off the grill and let sit for five minutes.

Pour the rest of the jerk sauce on top.

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Throw the pheasant on the grillGearpatrol.com

Pheasant

Finally, we have the humble pheasant on our menu.

This is another game bird, which means it’s impressive to serve and has a distinct flavor to it.

The only thing to remember is that the meat can dry out easily, so keep an eye on it as you cook.

For your convenience, this is a simple and effective grilling recipe to make your pheasant quite pleasant.

IngredientsIngredients

  • Whole pheasant
  • 1 ½ cups maple syrup
  • One or two cups apple sauce
  • Basic salt/pepper/garlic mixture (one part each)

Preparations

Clean your pheasant first, then coat with a thin layer of maple syrup.

Once the syrup is on, rub some salt/pepper/garlic mixture.

Use as much of this mixture as you want, depending on your tastes.

Place on the grill over medium heat.

Make sure to keep an eye on it and flip every few minutes.

The maple syrup should maintain the meat’s moisture, but you should still check it regularly.

Once the meat is at the right temperature, at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit,, coat it with some applesauce.

Cook for another few minutes to let the applesauce get warm.

Take it off the grill, and let it rest for five to 10 minutes before carving.

Now that you know the secret to grilling the best birds for your holiday meals, get an assist from the grilling experts.

6 Mouth-Watering Alternatives to Turkey For Thanksgiving

See what sauces, rubs, recipes, and other grilling accessories you could have on your doorstep every month!

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