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Holiday Turkey with Chilaca Chiles Recado

No recipe image available.Chilaca Chiles Recado is a traditional Yucatan spice paste that is spread on the turkey and roasted to form a flavorful chili crust that also seals in the juices during the cooking process.

Recipe developed by Chef Gary Kucy of the Coyote Cafe in Santa Fe, NM. Chef Kucy suggests serving this holiday recipe with roasted sweet potatoes, sautéed chard with fire-roasted tomatoes, pickled onion and Seville orange salad, and fresh tortillas.

Recipe Ingredients:

22 each dried chilaca chiles
5 each pasilla de oaxaca chiles, may substitute dried chipolte
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
5 each whole cloves
1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
2 tablespoons distilled vinegar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 1/2 ounces garlic oil
1 (12-pound) whole turkey, giblets and neck removed

Cooking Directions:

  1. Toast chiles in a 325°F (160°C) oven just until they become fragrant. Cool. Remove stems and seeds. Pulse in a food processor until well ground.
  2. In a spice grinder, mill chiles, black pepper, cloves, and oregano. Transfer to a bowl; add vinegar, salt, and oil to make the recado paste.
  3. Coat the turkey with a thin layer of recado paste. Cover and allow the turkey to marinade in the refrigerator for about 10 to 15 hours.
  4. Fold turkey wings under the back of the turkey and return legs to the tucked position. Turkey may be cooked in a 325°F (160°C) oven or cooked on a rotisserie. If roasting in the oven, cook for approximately 3 hours or until the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 170°F (80°C) in the breast and 180°F (85°C) in the thigh.
  5. If cooking by the rotisserie method, thread turkey evenly on the rotisserie-spit fork using a counter weight to achieve an even balance. Place a drip pan in the center of the grill beneath the area where the turkey juices will drip. Cook the turkey over indirect medium heat in a covered rotisserie. Replenish briquettes with about 15 briquettes every hour as needed to maintain medium heat.
  6. Cook until the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 170°F (80°C) in the breast and 180°F (85°C) in the thigh, about 3 hours.
  7. Allow the turkey to rest for about 15 minutes prior to carving. Place on a platter and garnish with chili peppers, orange, and avocado slices.

Makes 15 servings.

Recipe provided courtesy of the National Turkey Federation.