Traditionally, turkey is the star of the show for Thanksgiving. But what if this fowl isn’t your cup of tea?
Try French chicken-in-a-pot!
There is a story recorded by a writer back in the late 1600s that quoted French King Henry IV as saying,
“I desire that every laborer in my realm should be able to put a fowl in the pot on Sundays.”
Whether or not the good King actually said this, we have four hundred years’ worth of delicious versions of this recipe featuring tasty poule au pot.
Back then, there were no stoves or ovens for cooking like we have today, so the meat available was either boiled in a pot or roasted on a spit over an open fire.
Fortunately, you don’t have to resort to building a fire to cook your chicken in a pot.
You can find our version of this famous recipe here.
Okay, a chicken is still a bird. What are some other tasty alternatives to serve this Thanksgiving?
Historically, the Thanksgiving, or harvest, feast often revolved around the hunting and growing seasons of the area. Some of these traditions are still alive and well today.
The colonists at the first American Thanksgiving probably had lobster and clams at their feast in addition to venison and wild turkey.
Since fall was a time to bring in ripe crops, the Native Americans would harvest their corn and bake cornbread to accompany any meats.
How About A Few Non-Turkey Suggestions For Today?
Today, families still feature venison as their main dish as a tribute to deer hunting season. If you’re a fan of venison, you can serve it at your Thanksgiving dinner.
Speaking of seafood such as lobster and clams, fishermen today celebrate crab season by serving steamed Dungeness crab at their tables. And some families like to serve seared salmon as their main dish.
Ham and Pork
Often, the traditional turkey is accompanied by a slow-roasted ham covered in a sweet glaze or a delicious pork roast. No need to settle for one meat when you can have two!
Another delicious main dish to feature at Thanksgiving is beef. Whether you have prime rib or a tasty steak, you will be eating like many Irish-American immigrants did to celebrate their prosperity in the New World.
Vegans and vegetarians have wonderful alternatives to serve at Thanksgiving dinner. Imagine a pumpkin or large squash stuffed with quinoa or rice and other root vegetables, baked to tender perfection and served with cranberry sauce. Yum!
What about side dishes to go with all of these great main courses? The possibilities are endless!
So Many Sides!
Mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, fall greens such as turnips, and root vegetables including parsnips and carrots can all accompany the star of the meal.
Nothing says bountiful harvest like a little bit of everything on your plate. With all of the food, there are bound to be leftovers, but that’s a topic for another post!
Whatever The Food, Family Is The Real Star of Thanksgiving
No matter what the highlight of your Thanksgiving meal, the best part is having a chance to gather with friends and family to celebrate a wonderful year and to honor past harvest celebrations.
Happy Thanksgiving to our eat2explore family!