Sandra Lee may have cornered the market on "semi-homemade," but she's far from the only one trying to pass off pre-prepped food as their own. We've accidentally stumbled into a couple of places in the city offering ways to minimize the stress and expense of hosting a Thanksgiving dinner. Whole Foods Market contacted us with an offer of holiday samples and we ended up receiving an eight-pound pre-roasted turkey from Sonora's Diestel Family Turkey Ranch ($54.99). We hosted an impromptu pre-Thanksgiving feast for four people, but we could have fed twice as many with this deceptively small bird.
We've never cooked a whole turkey before and we're not sure we really want to, but this was a pretty cool shortcut. And we didn't even really touch the bird at all; we cut open the bag, slid it into a roasting pan, and warmed it up for an hour in the oven.
The light beige coloring that had been started on it before it got to us turned into a welcoming Bon Appetit cover shade of brown after 60 minutes. The flavor and texture were both on point, and we did nothing to doctor the bird. Enhanced with an herb rub or really anything of your choice and accompanied by roasting vegetables and you have a pretty darn effortless meal. All you have to worry about are the sides and dishes.
San Francisco restaurant Boxing Room has gone even a step further and is offering a whole Southern Thanksgiving kit that feeds 8-10 people ($325), with a half-order option ($162.50). With this comes a choice of roasted or deep fried turkey, collards, candied yams, cornbread stuffing, giblet gravy, cranberry sauce, and a choice of pumpkin or pecan pie. It's available for pickup on Thanksgiving day; call 430-6390 and be prepared to put down a 50% deposit to make the order. It's a small price to pay for being able to successfully pass off a reliably delicious dinner as your blood, sweat, and tears.