TOLEDO (WTOL) - We are just days away from the Thanksgiving feast! And this can be one of the toughest holidays to stick to your diet.

Walt Churchill's Market Chef Bill Kohloff has some great alternatives to that holiday bird.

Take a look at duck, pheasant or even Cornish game hens as turkey alternatives.

Seared duck breast


2 moulard duck breasts

Salt and pepper


Make three slits in the skin down to the meat. Repeat to make diamond shape. Then season with salt and pepper.

Pre-heat a saute pan until hot. Lay duck skin side down in a pan. No oil is needed as duck is a fatty protein.

Sear until skin is golden, approximately 5-8 minutes. Turn and cook until done, approximately another 3-4 minutes.

Duck should be medium rare. Remove to plate to keep warm.


4 oz. “Just Cranberry” cranberry juice

2-3 oz chicken stock

1 clove garlic, slivered

Few sprigs of fresh herbs of choice (thyme, rosemary, tarragon, sage leaf, etc)

1 tbsp butter


Pour most duck fat off, then add garlic and herbs, stirring for about 30 seconds.

Add juice, deglaze pan and bring to a low boil.

Add chicken stock, bring back to boil, then reduce to simmer for about 8-10 minutes.

Add butter and swirl into sauce until just melted. Add duck breast and coat well.

Remove duck and slice on bias. Fan out over wild rice pilaf.

Spoon sauce over the top and serve.

Whole birds

Duck, pheasant, cornish game hen


Make sure bird is completely thawed.

Rub skin with olive oil, season with coarse sea salt and cracked black pepper.

Place in a roasting oven. Add ingredients for cranberry sauce, except for butter.

Roast according to directions for specific bird, at 425 degrees, basting often.

When done, remove to platter.

Pour juices into saucepan and spoon off excess fat.

Bring to a boil and reduce by about half. Swirl in butter and serve.