The Great American Turkey-Free Thanksgiving Dinner

Starring (in no particular order): Amanda and Chuck

Red Chile Chicken Potpie

Red Chile Chicken Potpie

I don’t mean to be a turkeyday grinch, but as far back as I can remember I’ve never truly loved the bird! It’s not that I think turkey tastes bad, just that given the choice I’d typically rather eat something else. So when Thanksgiving rolls around I typically pass on the opportunity to cook up a gobbler, and instead focus my cooking efforts on something I’ll enjoy more!

(This, of course, disturbs Amanda to no end so she feels obligated to purchase off-season discount turkeys and cook them under the cover of night.)

With my ongoing cook-through of Red Sage underway, the natural choice was to find a dish from that to prepare. And with Amanda my co-chef I knew we could make it through a couple recipes this Thanksgiving week. To wit:

  • Red Chile Chicken Potpie with Mashed Potato Crust
  • Chipotle-Cumin Breadsticks
  • Sour Mash Blackberry Cobbler with Burnt Sugar Ice Cream

The potpie was probably the biggest production, taking around 6 hours to prepare. It was more of a “Shepard’s pie” than a real potpie, but the roasted garlic mashed potatos were tasty. The preparation also involved boiling a 1.5 frankenchicken of parts, making a chile puree, creating a roux, and lots of vegetable dicing. It was excellent overall, with the only change I would make being the future omission of the zucchini and squash. They had a strange texture and didn’t add much in terms of flavor.

Amanda prepared the chipotle-cumin breadsticks, wihch served to be a wonderful complement to the chicken, soaking up sauce and adding their own delectable flavor.

Our desert served the double-role of Amanda cooking a recipe from another one of our cookbooks: The Ultimate Ice Cream Book. She made the “burnt sugar” ice cream which is basically like caramel (I’m not sure how it’s different, actually). It turned out a bit thicker and sweeter and didn’t freeze as well as usual ice creams, so I think we should have added more milk. Anyway she DID add some bourbon in there (which I always do to keep ice cream from freezing too much), which played against the Sour Mash Blackberry Cobbler.

Sour Mash Blackberry Cobbler

Sour Mash Blackberry Cobbler

Now the cobbler was also a Red Sage recipe. This cobbler had a batter on top (contrasted with biscuit or pie crust, the other cobbler types). The baking time was off (maybe because I had refrigerated the cobbler beforehand) so I got worried the cobbler wasn’t browning and turned on the broiler to finish it. But then it was still liquid inside so it could have indeed cooked longer. Regardless it was quite delicious and paired wonderfully with the ice cream!

Ichabod Ale - Alpine Brewing Company

Ichabod Ale - Alpine Brewing Company

What thanksgiving meal would be complete without good beer? Not ours, certainly. We enjoyed a bottle of Alpine Brewing Company‘s Ichabod Ale, a dark, rich, spiced beer. I grow nervous whenever I see pumpkins on a beer label, but this worked really well. The pumpkin flavor was mild, and the spices made this beer a natural friend for our wintery baked meal.

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2 Responses to The Great American Turkey-Free Thanksgiving Dinner

  1. Pingback: Happy (Un)Turkey Day! « The Hoppy Okapi

  2. Dawn says:

    Looks delicious!

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