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Let Someone Else Cook The Turkey This Year

By Anthony Todd in Food on Nov 19, 2012 9:20PM

Roasted chicken at Pecking Order.

Thanksgiving is all about family, food and home. Except when it's not. Some years, you're just looking to treasure the break from work, hang out with family (or friends) and not have to worry about whether or not a behemoth bird is getting to dry or catching on fire in your oven. Let someone else worry about all that—book a Thanksgiving out this year or bring in a turkey made by someone else. Here are some of Chicago's best options for avoiding the hassle and cleanup of Thanksgiving dinner.

At Pecking Order, Chef Kristine Subido (known for her prowess in bird cookery) has two different thanksgiving dinner-to-go options. The dinners include a 4-5 pound roast chicken or a 10 pound roast turkey and six different side dishes. The chicken dinner feeds 2-4 and costs $90, the turkey dinner feeds up to 8 people and costs $130. You can also go nuts with a deluxe dinner that includes "Mom's famous glazed ham" (and some extra sides) for $189. Orders can be made up until the end of the day today and picked up on the 22nd of November. Call 773-907-9900.

Do Thanksgiving a little earlier in the day this year! At Sixteen, they're serving a Thanksgiving brunch that will blow you away. There's a carving station, a raw bar, charcuterie, cheese and dishes like Maple bourbon braised pork belly with apple mostardo and brussels sprout choucroute, Spiced pear and chestnut stuffed quail with dirty rice dressing and Endive salad with poached pear, toasted almonds and smoked blue cheese. There's also a huge set of desserts. It's a bit pricy ($130/person) but you're definitely getting what you pay for. Call 312-588-8151 for more information.

Looking for a slightly less pricy Thanksgiving buffet? How about Mity Nice? Their spread includes three soups (crab and shrimp bisque, yum), crab cakes, two salads, deviled eggs, roast turkey, all the sides you could want, pumpkin and pecan pie and more. All for only $45 per person and $16 for kids. The buffet runs from noon - 7 p.m. Call 312-335-4745 for more information or reservations.

Go for an Italian-infused Thanksgiving this year at Coco Pazzo Cafe! They're running a 4-course prix fixe for $42 that includes butternut squash soup, house-made pasta filled with wild mushrooms and ricotta and a butter-sage sauce, herb-roasted turkey breast or lake superior whitefish and pumpkin crostata for dessert. Call 312-836-0900 for reservations or more information.

Okay, it's last minute. But if you want a smoked turkey, it might be worth jumping on this now. Frontier is taking reservations for their famous smoked turkeys until the end of the day today. If you haven't bought a turkey yet (and were planning on leaving it to the last minute) do this instead. It costs $75 for a whole smoked hormone and antibiotic free Amish 12-pound turkey. It's not quite a whole smoked alligator, but it's still pretty darned cool. Call 773-772-4322 to reserve.