Thanksgiving Dinner

Fall is my favorite time of  year. The smells, colors, crisp air and of course the succulent foods.
I’ve created tasty dishes that require very little time and effort, but will have the tastes and the smells that you are accustomed to from Prima Olive. With our oils and balsamics you do not need a pantry full of herbs and spices. 

Below are some of the recipes I've chosen for this edition. I've also written a daily procedure so you are not caught doing everything in one day.



At the very bottom is a table with all the ingredients you will need categorized by area.

3 Days before- buy your turkey and  defrost turkey in refrigerator(see directions below)

2 Days before- Make cranberry relish(see directions below)

1 Day before- bake sweet potatoes(see directions below)

*Thanks Giving Morning-

Roast turkey, make stuffing, make sweet potatoes,make gravy

*Recipes below

Roasted Turkey

My father taught us some very important short cuts over the years on how to prepare a turkey. If I left something out I am sure my sister will remind me right away!
First- big is not better, when it comes to turkeys. It’s better to have two 12-14 lb. turkeys than one large turkey. Large turkeys can be tough, takes a long time to fully cook, and can dry out by the time you’re ready to serve. I do not stuff the turkey with bread stuffing for health reasons, but this is up to you. Yes, it's this simple!*
Two to three days before roasting: Begin thawing the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38 degrees F.

Feeds 10

1- 12 to 14 pound turkey
1/2 cup Prima’s Tuscan Extra Virgin Olive Oil( this oil is evenly infused with garlic, rosemary, sage and basil)
kosher salt
1 15 oz. can chicken broth, for basting
1 bag each of celery and 1 bag of carrots
*1 each orange,lemon, apple(for stuffing turkey)
*clippings from celery, onions, carrots(that you normally throw away)
*string for truss
*Meat thermometer

Choose a plump turkey. Clean and dry thoroughly inside and out.
Remove giblets and turkey neck from inside of turkey and rub liberally inside the cavity with kosher salt.

Stuff turkey with vegetable clippings(sometimes I add oranges, apples, lemons as well).Truss Turkey(to tie or fasten), or fasten with small lacing skewers and cotton string. Tuck in wings and fold tail in over clippings.

Gently loosen the breast skin and rub with Prima’s Tuscan olive oil. This will help keep the breast meat moist. Brush the top of the turkey generously with Prima’s Tuscan EVOO, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

This is Gus’ secret. It will cut your cooking time in half and guarantees a moist, juicy turkey. Roast turkey, uncovered, at 425°F basting frequently with a mixture of 1/2 cup Prima’s Tuscan EVOO and 1/2 cup chicken broth, or pan juices. After 1 hour, baste thoroughly one last time and then seal turkey tightly with foil. Reduce heat to 275°F and continue roasting for another 2 -2 1/2 hours. Do not open or baste at this time.

Insert a meat thermometer at the thickest part (breast or thigh). A turkey is ready to eat when the thickest parts reads 165°F. You want to remove the turkey before that .Remove turkey at 145°F. Let set for one hour tightly covered. The turkey will continue to cook and will stay moist. If temperature has not reached 145°F, re-seal and place back in oven, checking in 15 minute intervals. Do not gauge your roasting on a pop-up, generally the turkey will be over cooked.

*Remove all vegetables and/or fruit from the turkey. SAVE! We need this for later.

Convection oven cooking time should be reduced by 25% - see your oven manual). While the turkey is roasting, prepare giblet gravy (see below).

Two Methods for Gravy:With or without Giblets

*vegetables and stock from turkey pan                              

4 Tbl  of  flour

Prima's Garlic EVOO or Tuscan EVOO                     

1 Beef bouillon cube

Giblets( if using)

Red wine(optional)

With out Giblets

1.  Remove broth from the Turkey pan.

2. Strain broth through a sieve and strain again placing  a cheese cloth or paper towel in the sieve to  remove any  large pieces. You should have a clear broth.

3. Heat 2 TBL of Prima's infused olive oil

4. Add 4 Tbl of flour. Thoroughly mix over medium heat.

5. Add  1 bullion to one cup of  chicken broth in microwave. Dissolve well.

6. Slowly add  1 cup of broth from turkey to flour and oil mixture. Mix until desired consistency over medium/high heat.

7. Add bouillon mixture a small amount at a time to thin out  and also to add color.

8. At this time you can add  both broths and  red wine a little at a time to create the  flavor and the thickness you desire.

*  You should have enough liquid to create another batch ,If you need more gravy.

With Giblets

1.Chop all meat  into tiny pieces and  also chop meat from neck.

2. Follow steps above to step 3. Add chopped meat to oil. Heat.

3. Follow steps from step 4 above.

Cranberry Relish

This recipe is very simple  and uses the sweetness of the cranberries and the balsamic instead of added sugar

1 bag of cranberries

1 granny smith apple

1/2 cup walnuts(optional)

material)cinnamon stick, whole cloves,orange rind

Prima's Cinnamon Pear or Prima's Cranberry  balsamic

1/4 cup Red wine

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup honey


Chop Apple into small cubes. Chop walnuts. Set aside. Create your bouquet garni by placing 1-2 cinnamon sticks, 1 TBL  whole cloves, and 1/2 inch wide slivers of orange rind.

Place bag of cranberries in saucepan. Add 1/2 cup Prima's Balsamic, 1/4 cup red wine, 1/4 cup water, honey,and bouquet garni.

Simmer until  cranberries are soft and liquid is reduced to half (@30-45 minutes). Add Walnuts

Chill until  ready to serve.

Herb Stuffing


I can't imagine Thanksgiving dinner without my father's touch in my stuffing. He used to love using day old French and pumpernickel breads( try to dry out as much as possible), but as time went on he changed over to Pepperidge Farms brand and we all seemed to adjust quite well. If you decide to use non-packaged bread, then as I said, get as much liquid out as possible by leaving it out for a day or two. This is also something that I make at least one day before Thanksgiving and then warm up just before serving.

Ingredients- I like a lot of crunchy foods in my stuffing. Read through ingredients first.You may decide to use all or some of my suggestions.

16 cups of 1- inch bread cubes(1 1/2  loaf) or 2 large bags of Pepperidge Farm Country Stuffing

8 tablespoons Prima Olive's Cranberry Walnut EVOO or Prima Olive's Tuscan EVOO

2 cups medium-diced yellow onion (2 onions)

1 cup medium-diced celery (2 stalks)
2 Granny Smith apples, unpeeled, cored and large-diced
½  cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 pound sweet or spicy Italian sausage, casings removed(you can use turkey or chicken sausage if you like)

4 cup chicken stock

4 eggs

1 can of whole chestnuts cut up in small cubes(not sliced)

1 cup dried cranberries

½ cup chopped walnuts



Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Make sure your bread is very dry. If not, place in oven for 7 minutes.


Raise the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Remove the bread

cubes and add  to a very large bowl(or  packaged bread).


In a large sauté pan, add 8 Tbl of Prima’s EVOO and add the onions, celery

apples, parsley, salt and pepper. Sauté over medium heat for 10 minutes,

until the vegetables are softened.Add to the bread cubes.


In the same saute pan, cook the sausage over medium heat for about 10

minutes, until browned and cooked through, breaking up the sausage with a

fork while cooking. Add to the bread cubes and vegetables

Whisk eggs with 2 cup chicken stock,add to bread mixture and toss until well coated.Add more broth until fully moistened. add cranberries,chestnuts,and walnuts to the mixture, mix well. Add more chicken stock until stuffing has a very moist feel, then and pour into a 9 by 12inch baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes covered. Remove cover and bake  until browned on top . If making ahead stop after 30 minutes, then return to heated oven until top is browned  and center is warm to the touch.



Prima's Blood Orange Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes are such a versatile starch, which makes this hard for me to pick a recipe of mine to share with you. But trying to stick with my healthy but tasty dishes this year, this sweet potato dish will surely make everyone in your family happy! Delicious and healthy!

3 Large Sweet Potatoes 
3 Granny Smith Apples

1/4 cup Prima Olive's Blood Orange Olive Oil

1/4 cup Prima Olive's Cinnamon Pear Balsamic


1 lemon

**Day before, if possible, bake sweet potatoes  whole,with skins, in oven at 375 degrees for 40 minutes. Place in refrigerator over night or until cool.

Peel and core apples. Slice in 1/4 inch slices and place in bowl of water with juice of one lemon.

Peel Sweet potatoes and slice in 1/4 inch rounds.They should be slightly under cooked.

Place sweet potatoes in a gallon plastic bag, or plastic container with lid. Drizzle Prima's Blood Orange olive oil, seal bag, and shake vigorously until well coated.

Remove sweet potatoes from bag(keep bag for apples) and layer upright  in a 9 x 13 inch glass casserole dish.

Remove apples from water and drain. Place in same baggie  and drizzle with Prima's Cinnamon Pear balsamic.

Place one apple slice in between each sweet potato slice.

If you like drizzle with additional blood orange EVOO and cinnamon pear balsamic.

Cover with aluminum foil. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Check apples and potatoes, if not fully cooked , return to oven and check every 10 minutes until done. 


Prima Olive



Dry goods

Tuscan EVOO

12-14 lb Turkey

2 bags of celery

3- 15 oz can chicken broth

Garlic EVOO

¾ lb Italian, chicken or turkey sausage

1 bag of carrots


Cinnamon Pear Balsamic


4 medium yellow onions

Beef boullion

Cranberry Balsamic


1 orange

Good bottle of red wine

Blood Orange EVOO


2 lemons

Cinnamon stick, whole cloves



4 Granny Smith Apple

Cheese cloth



1 bag of cranberries

1 – 8 oz can  whole chestnuts



Small bag of shelled walnuts




1 ½  loaf French bread/pumpernickel or 2 large  bags bread crumbs




½ c fresh parsley




3 large sweet potatoes