SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (WLS) -- There are two ways to approach Thanksgiving: either cook it yourself, or have someone else do the legwork for you. The issue with doing it yourself, of course, is you're going to be faced with leftovers.
The thought of a week's worth of turkey sandwiches isn't necessarily inspiring. Nor is the thought of doing all that prep work, especially if you don't have the means to cook everything yourself. Several restaurants have stepped in to offer help this year, including one that's known more for its trademark grills.
There is as much prepping as there is cooking at the Weber Grill Restaurant in Schaumburg this week. Like its two other locations in Lombard and downtown, they're cooking Thanksgiving dinner so other people don't have to.
"We have a party platter that feeds 8 to 10 people, you can get all our sides, you can get a sliced turkey and we also have whole turkey; so whole smoked turkey done the Weber way," said Chef Larry Donahue.
Sides like mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts can be ordered to go, as well as pumpkin pie with pecans. But just in case you are planning to cook at home, Donahue has a couple of suggestions for what to do with all of those inevitable leftovers.
First, stuffed peppers. He simply chops up some of that turkey, adds it to a bowl with a bit of dressing and some gravy to bind it, then stuffs them into wide, even red bell peppers.
"I usually look for a nice pepper that has a cavity that can be stuffed," said Donahue.
Set into tinfoil boats then placed onto a covered grill, the peppers are ready to go in about 20 minutes. For a riff on the usual sandwich, Donohue butters his bread, flips it over and layers on cheddar slices, along with some turkey, plus grilled onions and grilled apples.
"I always ate a turkey sandwich, so that's why I went with the panini," he said.
He places it on a skillet inside his grill, weighing it down with a heavy steel press, the kind you might use for bacon. After just a few minutes per side, they're ready to be sliced and served. Donohue says over the course of the next few days, he and his staff are going to see thousands of pounds of turkey.
"A lot of turkey," he said.
Weber Grill Restaurants
539 N. State Street
Chicago IL 60654
2331 Fountain Square
Lombard IL 60148
1010 N. Meacham Rd
Schaumburg IL 60173
10 N. Illinois Street
Indianapolis IN 46204
Thanksgiving help and tips from Weber Grill