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Let Chefs Cook Your Thanksgiving Dinner

If you decided to host Thanksgiving and have no idea how to go about fixing your bird, don't sweat it. Let someone else do it. That's what trained chefs are for.

Bucktown's Lillie's Q barbecue joint has fully cooked and smoked turkeys up for grabs. Chef/owner Charlie McKenna will prepare each 12-pound turkey with Lillie Q's signature "Q Rub" and smoke it for five hours. The cost is $60 and orders (cash only) must be made by 5 p.m. Tuesday Nov. 23 and picked up between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Thanksgiving morning. You can serve as is or pop it in the oven for a little bit to warm it up. Don't worry, it'll come with instructions.

If you already have a turkey, you can bring the uncooked turkey to Uptown's Sun Wah BBQ and they'll prepare it for you. Sun Wah will stuff the bird with five spice blend, garlic, ginger, cilantro and bean paste sauce and soy sauce and put a molasses and vinegar glaze on the outside. The cost is $1.35 per pound, so if you have a 15-pound turkey, it'll cost you about $20. You can also opt to have Sun Wah do the whole bird and not bother with the BYOT. That'll cost $3.65 a pound and they currently have 10- to 15-pound turkeys and 20- 25-pound birds. The earlier you order, the better your chances of getting the size of your choice. Orders must be made by Tuesday at 5 p.m. for pickup Thanksgiving day.

If you're feeling particularly lazy overwhelmed at the thought of preparing dinner for all your guests, the Chicago Firehouse and chef Kendal Duque have you covered. For $175 you can get a fully-cooked meal for six to eight people. It comes with a 12- to 14-pound whole-roasted turkey; salad with sherry vinaigrette, bleu cheese and spicy candied pecans; fresh sage bread stuffing; whipped garlic potatoes and maple sweet potatoes; a fresh fall veggie medley; cranberry relish and a pumpkin pie. Call 312-786-1401 by noon on Monday, Nov. 22 to place your order.

Now that you have the food, we gotta think about the drinks, right? Because what's Thanksgiving without drinking? There are some wines, like Pinot Noir and Riesling, that pair perfectly with turkey dinner. But what if you want cocktails? Prairie Fire's chef/owners Sarah Stegner & George Bumbaris have created two turkey day-appropriate cocktail mixtures—and all you need to do is order them then add the booze. Choose between their Caramel Apple martini, which is made using Nichols' Farm organic apples (they recommend adding North Shore Distillery vodka) and the Bee's Knees Martini, which incorporates honey harvested from Heritage Prairie Farm and calls for your favorite gin. The cost? The Caramel Apple martini costs $12 per quart and yields 8 drinks; the Bee's Knees costs $24 per quart and you can squeeze 16 servings from it.

Want turkey dinner like this? [Photo: La Cascia's Bakery]

Lillie's Q

417 North Ashland Avenue, , IL 60622 (773) 295-1270 Visit Website

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