Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thanksgiving? Way ahead of ya

After weighing the relative success of last year's Thanksgiving at Sandrine's, we decided once again to go out for Turkey Day instead of cooking at home.

It's not that we don't love to cook, you understand; it's just that the prospect of spending all morning in front of the stove and all afternoon in front of the sink (because I don't trust the dishwasher) takes the edge off having a random relaxing Thursday off work, gravy or no gravy.

So we're
giving thanks at Rialto in Harvard Square, which promises roasted pumpkin soup with ginger cream; red wine risotto with figs and almond pesto; and of course a full-on plate of bird and carrots and sprouts and stuffing.

The one downside to this otherwise brilliant plan is that we get no leftovers. In previous years, we've stretched the T-Day meal to last a week, between hashes and pasta dishes and soups, finding increasingly creative ways to use up mashed sweet potatoes and garlic green beans and picadillo stuffing.

But the meal we missed most last year, almost to the point of mourning, was the next-day sandwich: turkey, cheese and Julia Child's cranberry chutney stuffed into a ciabatta roll and warmed in the oven. A beautiful thing.

So this weekend we decided to have a scaled-down Thanksgiving a little early. I knocked together the chutney in about an hour, we picked up a free-range chicken and some veggies, and The Boy found a nice Bordeaux. Result:

The green pesto-esque thing in the foreground above is garlic ground up with fresh rosemary, oregano and sage, blended with butter and massaged under the skin of the chicken. Was it good? What do you think?

Best of all: we got to have the next-day sandwich for supper the same day. And there was enough chicken left for lunch sandwiches for half the week and some fabulous enchiladas, for which The Boy made fresh tomatillo sauce.

Hey, there's no rule that says you can only celebrate Thanksgiving once a year.

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