Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Peruvian Turkey for Thanksgiving – What? Are You Chicken?

I love, love, love Peruvian-style rotisserie chicken, and have been meaning to do a video on this magical marinade forever, so it’s kind of funny that it makes it Food Wishes debut slathered all over a Thanksgiving turkey. 

By the way, to the hundreds of you who requested Peruvian chicken, I checked with our legal department, and this counts. 

My usual ethnic food disclaimer applies; I have no idea how close this is to your “authentic” recipe, but based on what I’ve tasted at some very good Peruvian restaurants here in San Francisco, I think I did pretty well. I also think this technique translated beautifully to the much larger bird.

Above and beyond the vibrant taste, the spice rub formed an almost airtight crust during the long, slow roasting, and it was truly one of the juiciest turkeys I’ve ever tasted. It was almost reminiscent of some salt-dough versions I've enjoyed before.

As I mentioned in the video, I took some of the same ingredients used in a green sauce that’s usually served along side, and used it to make a pan gravy. I was very pleased with this last minute experiment, and it actually reminded me, in taste and texture, of a Chile Verde, which is never a bad thing.

Below the ingredients, I’ll give you the rather simple formula for achieving perfect doneness, which will work no matter how you flavor your turkey, but if you’re looking for something deliciously different on your Thanksgiving table, then I hope you give this Peruvian turkey a try. Enjoy!

Peruvian Turkey Ingredients:
1 whole turkey, ready to roast
For the spice rub:
12 cloves garlic
1 tbsp dried oregano
3 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1/2 cup ground cumin
2 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup white vinegar

Rub turkey all over, and under the breast skin with the rub. Let sit out at room temp for 1 hour. Rub extra rub inside cavity, but save a 1/4 cup or so to use as a glaze later. Tie legs, season with kosher salt, and roast at 325 F., for about 15 minutes a pound, or until the internal temp in the thickest part of the thigh is 170-175 F.  Let rest 20 minutes before carving.

*I like to cover the breasts with foil about halfway through the estimated cooking time. I also like to remove it, and brush on any extra spice rub (thinned with a little oil) about 30 minutes before it should be done. 

For the sauce:
1 cup crème fraiche
juice of one lime
I cup chicken broth
2 jalapeno
1/2 cup cilantro

Place roasting pan (pour off excess fat) on med-high heat. Puree above and deglaze roasting pan with the mixture. Bring to a boil, and cook until the mixture thickens into a gravy. Season and serve!