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Trying to Bridge the Gap Between Traditional & Italian Christmas Dinner

For Thanksgiving dinner, I made the traditional American Thanksgiving feast of turkey, ham, stuffing and other sides. While shopping and preparing dinner I would think, from time to time, “throw some basil and olive oil on it” or “how would they prepare this in Tuscany”. I ignored those thoughts while brining my turkey though I gave in just after putting my turkey in the roaster when I gave the turkey a good splash of olive oil. By the way, check out the cider and orange peel turkey brine recipe from Ree Drummond (the Pioneer Woman) because it made my turkey incredibly moist and gave my turkey an awesome flavor. The turkey was the hit of the entire meal as everyone commented on how good it was.

For Christmas I’m giving in to my love for Italian cooking where my goal is to take each of the traditional items and make an Italian equivalent. So, instead of making a ham I will be buying a large pork butt to make porchetta. The Christmas turkey will instead be a capon with fig and prosciutto stuffing. Ok, you may be thinking “what is a capon?” A capon is rooster that has had their testes removed at approximately 8 weeks old. The absence of testes causes hormonal where the rooster is not aggressive towards other roosters, they are less active so the gain weight and the meat is more tender and flavorful. The process of castrating roosters was developed by the Greek and Roman empires, so it has a deep history in Italy and the Mediterranean region.

I’m struggling a bit with the sides though do know that asparagus will be on the menu since it is so simple to make. For dessert I’m planning on making creme brulee and something with Nutella. I need suggestions for Italian sides that will pair well with the capon and porchetta. Send them to me at!

While preparing for Christmas dinner don’t forget to take time to enjoy your family and that the new year will bring another opportunity to make a great meal.

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