Seven Dishes For Your Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Dinner
By Jennifer A. Freeman in Food on Nov 20, 2013 4:40PM
Photo by Yooperann
Whether you're looking for a gluten-free dessert for Friendsgiving, or you're going in for the whole shebang, it's less intimidating than you think to prepare a gluten-free Thanksgiving dinner. We've put together a sample menu of some of our favorite dishes and recipes with a gluten-free modification for each course. Or, don't be a hero. We have suggestions for where to BUY gluten-free goods in Chicago.
Turkey: Skip the turkey filled with gluten-FULL stuffing. Fry the bird! We love the crispy skin and juicy meat of a fried turkey. It does take a bit of skill to produce the perfect fried turkey, but it's well worth it. If you've heard turkey explosion stories and have safety concerns, we trust Alton Brown's method for cooking anything. Our tip: Frying goes better with a Bloody Mary in hand.
Rolls: Call up Rose's Wheat Free Bakery in Evanston or visit its website and place an order this week for dinner rolls and even a cake for dessert. Rose's has lots of vegan options, too, if you have more than one dietary restriction to deal with.
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy: No modifications needed to make mashed potatoes dripping with butter. We like to use cream cheese, too, for extra-rich potatoes. For the gravy, use cornstarch instead of flour. This will probably make for a smoother gravy texture than you're used to. Just remember to use warm water for the cornstarch slurry. Here's a super easy recipe to follow. If you fried the turkey like we recommended, get an extra turkey leg to cook for the drippings for gravy.
Vegetables: We're not going to tell you how to make gluten-free green bean casserole. It needs cream of mushroom soup and that crispy onion topping. Some things just aren't supposed to be made gluten free. Instead, consider roasted Brussel sprouts. These guys just need olive oil, salt and pepper, and about 45 minutes in a 400 degree oven. Toss some balsamic on there is you're feeling extra fancy. They'll get crispy and woody flavored and you'll wonder why you ever had Thanksgiving without them.
Cranberry sauce: Whether you serve that jiggly can-shaped cranberry log, or you make your own sauce from scratch, there shouldn't be any gluten in here. But we take a page from Thug Kitchen's book and make our own with plenty of bourbon and orange juice. We promise it's worth the extra 10 minutes to make it versus open a can.
Dressing: The base of this dish is bread. King Gluten. But, by the time you cover it in herbs, stock, maybe sausage, and whatever else your family recipe calls for, the texture of the bread is long gone. If you want to make your gluten-free guest really happy, pick up another loaf of gluten-free bread from Rose's for the dressing.
Dessert: Pie crust is another one that usually needs gluten to make it right. An experienced gluten-free cook can probably swing it, but we're not expecting you to on your first try. There's no shame in picking up a dessert from Rose's in Evanston, Swirlz in Lincoln Park, or Cookie Bar in Ravenswood. Or if you're bound and determined to make something from scratch, we love a pumpkin cheesecake with a gluten-free gingersnap crust or an apple crumble. We have some good recipes to share with you next week for those.
If you're still stressed, take a breath and read our tips for how to be a good gluten-free Thanksgiving host.
What did we miss? Any gluten-free dishes you love to make for Thanksgiving? Any questions for how to make a favorite side gluten-free? Drop us a line in the comments and we'll help out with a few recipes next week.