I’ve honestly never cooked Thanksgiving dinner before, having had the good fortune of countless invitations over the years. But this year, I’m in Rome and I’m the one making dinner.
Most of our dinner guests will be Italian and most of them have never celebrated an American Thanksgiving. Which adds an interesting twist. The Italian flavors I intend to be creative with will be commonplace to them, but the American classics should hopefully be new and exciting.
I do have some help. My boyfriend has followed up with the butcher to get an order in for a turkey. Italians eat turkey, but do not typically roast a great big bird themselves which means that you can get a turkey, but you have to plan ahead. We had to specify the turkey’s gender which was unusual for me. We’re also trying to figure out how to fit the turkey in the oven. Italian ovens tend to be small and ours is no exception.
Fortunately, my brother is also coming to help with the turkey preparations. He has long boasted about the beauty and perfection of his sage brined turkey and I can’t wait to try it–assuming we can get the turkey in the oven.
Meanwhile, I’ve been doing my research:
- I like Bourdain’s technique of two turkeys, although we’ll be sticking with one.
- Some good tips on how to make an Italian accented Turkey Day from Fine Cooking.
- Martha stewart of course has a great big collection of Thanksgiving menus, including a curious recipe to cook turkey in the style of porchetta.
Do any of your Thanksgiving classics rely on Italian flavors? Any advice for cooking a first Thanksgiving?