Although we don't know with certainty whether turkey was served at the first Thanksgiving celebration, the two have become indelibly linked over the last four centuries. If you're tired of the same old roasted bird, however, try a new twist on the Thanksgiving classic.
The notion of frying a whole turkey started in the South U.S., and has spread across the country in recent years. Turkey fryers are a common cause of household fires in late November, so be sure to follow the instructions carefully and don't overfill the oil.
It sounds like something Dr. Frankenstein might serve for dinner, but actually nested birds have been served since at least the 18th century. The typical terducken is a chicken stuffed inside a duck, both of which are stuffed inside a turkey. The birds are all deboned, of course. The chicken is stuffed; some people stuff the other birds as well.
If you don't have several hours to roast a turkey, or if your family doesn't eat the dark meat, consider serving a turkey breast instead of a whole bird. Use a flavor injection system to add layers of flavor and moistness to the breast.
When there are only one or two people at a Thanksgiving dinner, serving an entire turkey or even a whole breast may be too much bird, even with creative uses for leftover turkey. Cutlets are boneless, skinless cuts of breast meat that are often very low in fat and just as versatile as chicken breasts.
If you want the "whole bird" experience but don't need one the size of a turkey, try a game hen instead. The records we have of the first Thanksgiving dinner only mention that "wild fowl" was served, so game hens may actually be more authentic than the traditional turkey.
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