Turkey is literally the worst. How many commonly eaten animals can you name that are less enjoyable to eat than turkey? Zero. The correct answer is zero, because it is the worst.
I’ve had what people call “good turkey”—Orwellian doublespeak for “garbage bird”—and it’s never actually good. Last year I wet-brined the turkey for two days, then I dry-rubbed it, then I injected it with spice rub-infused butter, then I deep fried it. It was the best turkey I’ve ever had. It was terrible.
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Here are 26 things you can put on the Thanksgiving table instead of turkey this year:
1) Prime rib
2) Roast duck
3) Crown rack of lamb
4) Rotisserie chicken
5) One of those whole salmons decorated with cucumber scales that they had at fancy buffets back in the 80s
6) Braised beef shank
7) Pork picnic roast
8) A roll of paper towels carved table side and moistened with canned gravy
9) Beef ribs
10) Stewed rabbit
11) Pork tenderloin
12) Whole suckling pig
13) Goat neck
14) A nice, composed charcuterie board
15) A single box of undercooked Rice-A-Roni to show your family and friends that you really don’t love them because that’s what you were planning on doing by serving them a useless, tasteless, stupid animal cooked in the laziest way possible because of some arbitrary tradition that your grandparents insist on that has nothing to do with the foods they ate at the first Thanksgiving which has already been so cartoonified and fictionalized that it’s warped our own collective knowledge of history.
16) Oooh, a Honey Baked Ham! Bet you haven’t had one of those in a while
17) Braised brisket
18) Whole-roasted spaghetti squash. It never hurts to have a vegan option!
19) Ahi tuna steaks
20) Roast pheasant
21) Short ribs
22) Chicken paillard
23) A bucket of sand. Put a large bucket full of freshly foraged wet sand on the table and scream, “IS THIS WHAT YOU WANT? IS THIS WHAT YOU PEOPLE REALLY WANT?” while dishing out generous mounds onto your family and friends’ plates. Don’t forget the gravy!
25) Pork belly
26) Saddle of lamb