No Turkeys Allowed Four Adventurous Alternatives for your Thanksgiving Dinner

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Family meal traditions are wonderful things, but I think it’s fun to mix it up every now and then. After all, even the most delicious Thanksgiving turkey recipe can get a bit boring year after year. I’m not suggesting you abandon your beloved bird altogether, but why not be a bit adventurous this holiday?

I first had wild boar in Krakow, Poland, and instantly fell in love with its rich, nutty flavor—a cross between roast beef and pork. Here I’ve paired this hearty game meat with a fruity port wine jus. And for an incredible leftover meal, make a simple wild boar ragù: Shred the remaining boar meat and add it, along with canned tomatoes, back into the remaining jus and simmer on low for hours. Serve over pappardelle pasta. Rabbit isn’t a common protein on American tables, and that’s a shame. It’s plentiful, affordable and, when cooked correctly, buttery, moist and tender. Try it with my rich sage and pork stuffing and a classic mustard sauce.

The Guinea hen legs, slowly poached in butter, are herby, slightly salty mouthfuls of rich dark meat, and go perfectly with the tart cranberry cherry gastrique.

And finally, something for vegetarians. All too often, our herbivorous friends and family members get stuck eating a series of side dishes at holiday meals, but not so if you serve this sweet potato, caramelized onion and raclette galette—essentially a free-form tart. You also can serve a wedge as a great side for any rich game meat.

Not quite ready to abandon the Thanksgiving turkey altogether? Try one or more of these dishes alongside it this year.

Sweet Potato, Caramelized Onion & Raclette Galette

Roast Whole Rabbit with Pork Sage Stuffing & Mustard Sauce

Wild Boar Shoulder with Port Sauce

Guinea Hen Leg Confit

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