Your Bird Here

Throw out the turkey! This year, turn to a native fowl—dove, duck, or quail—for your holiday dinner centerpiece. With these inventive recipes from three of our favorite chefs, you’ll be starting a new (and juicier) tradition.
Illustration by Darren Braun

Sure, you could have turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. There’s nothing wrong with serving up a gargantuan, dried-out, unwieldy, predictable hunka protein that nobody with a single functioning taste bud really likes very much. It’s a proud American tradition that goes all the way back to 1621 and, ahem, Plymouth, Massachusetts. But there’s a far more Texan way to celebrate, and that is to serve a tasty, juicy, imaginative, and wieldy bird that actually hails from our fair state. And what might that be? Well, what about a choice between duck, quail, and white-winged dove? (Yes, yes, wild turkeys live here too, but be quiet; you’re spoiling my argument.)

To this end, we asked three leading Texas chefs to create original recipes for cooking and accessorizing these indigenous fowl. And did they ever come through. Tyson Cole, chef-owner of Austin’s Japanese fusion restaurant Uchi, has created a combo that pairs dove with sake-ginger sweet potatoes and a savory cinnamon-apple jus. From Fort Worth, Lanny Lancarte, chef-owner of Lanny’s Alta Cocina Mexicana, takes duck, seasons it with bay leaf and allspice, and serves it up with a mushroom, currant, and jalapeño picadillo. Jason Dady, chef-owner of

Tags: FOOD

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