While the typical American can expect a piping hot turkey to fill their stomach, I can expect the plucky meats of a roasted duck. Roasted duck, although not entirely foreign to American taste buds, still remains an unconventional main dish for the national holiday. Some characteristics the turkey and duck share include a thin, mahogany skin that slips right off the meat when prepared well. However, roasted duck only lives up to its potential when the skin drips succulent grease, leaving a layer of oily residue on the diner’s lips. A roasted duck makes a fitting alternative to those with smaller families and seeking a denser, gamier taste. Stuff with slivers of leek for a more complex dish.
Our Asian-fused dinner also includes a thick, spiced curry soup to warm the body. My family’s recipe consists of a medley of starchy and green vegetables such as potatoes and green beans steeped in a deep orange broth. With a splash of coconut milk for that extra creaminess, the florid concoction complements autumn colors. The rich curry soup adds a subtle, spicy twist to the savory flavors of Thanksgiving without setting your taste buds on fire.
Mashed potatoes drizzled with gravy have been a staple part of the all-American Thanksgiving feast, but my family replaces the starchy dish with a platter of stir-fried rice. Sprinkled with Chinese sausage, diced green onion and beads of corn, the platter satiates both sweet and savory needs. The stir-fried rice option is a light and healthy remix for Thanksgiving dinner, complementing the heavy textures of roasted duck and spiced curry.
A feast wouldn’t be a feast without the impending guilt experienced after a food binge, and that’s exactly what deep fried wonton skins are for. The dish simply requires a hot pot of simmering oil and raw wonton skins to drop in. Fried to a golden brown, the skins crackle and melt in between bites. These crispy chips make great conversation snacks after a big dinner. They’re addicting and airy enough to indulge in without regrets.
This story originally appeared on page 13 of November 20, 2014’s print edition of the Daily Nexus.