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The funky chicken — er, turkey

(article, Melanie Mesaros)

Let's say you like turkey. But the tried-and-true turkey and taters are starting to feel a little tired. Here are a few suggestions for jazzing up the bird on Thanksgiving Day. 

The San Francisco Chronicle is hosting a "So You Think You Can Cook" contest, in which eight hand-picked contestants have been tasked with creating two different Thanksgiving menus. One of the contestants has a penchant for Cajun cooking, while another is known for being king of the tailgate. Other Chronicle alternatives include an Asian-style feast (glazed five-spice turkey, coconut soup in a squash shell) and chef favorites (caramel pumpkin custard, oyster stuffing). 

Not wild about the idea of an oven roasting (and smoking) for several hours in your kitchen? Epicurious has instructions for barbecuing a brined bird. (Keep in mind that it'll take about 1½ hours to grill a 14- to 16-pound turkey, so if you still want to give your turkey some Western flavor without getting out the grill, consider a roasted version with chipotle.) Meanwhile, the food staff at the Seattle Times created a dried-apricot-and-cherry stuffing, to give a bird a bit of summertime flavor. 

And for the leftovers, try rolling out some turkey alfredo pizza. Who says fusion cuisine is dead?