While many Thanksgiving tables will be laden with turkey, stuffing and other more traditional fare, there's no rule that says you have to blend in with the crowd. In fact, doing something a little different could make you the most popular chef in your social circle — so don't be afraid to branch out.
Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
When a simple turkey just won't do, how about stuffing it with a chicken that's been stuffed into a duck? It's a three-fer! And while it's enough to make the vegetarians among us blanch, the turducken has become an increasingly popular item on Thanksgiving tables.
Buck tradition and bring a little New Orleans to your Thanksgiving table with a jambalaya. Make it as spicy or mild as you like, and use your choice of meats — turkey, chicken, or shrimp are always popular ideas.
Tired of the tried-and-true corn? This yummy side dish has the added benefit of being prepared in a crockpot — which means you don't have to tend to it while it cooks. In addition, the sweet smell of carrots and ginger will make your whole house smell festive.
If you'll have non meat-eaters at the table, keep in mind not all of them like faux meat (in fact, many are decided haters of the aforementioned Tofurky). Satisfy them with this hearty Italian staple — and they won't feel they've missed a thing.
Lo these many years ago, harvest celebrations in coastal New England featured a whole, stuffed cod as the main dish. Harken back to those times with this delicious entree, using a simple stuffing of bread crumbs and Ritz crackers.