Cuban Thanksgiving Turkey
- 1 (12-14 pound) turkey, fresh or thawed
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 head garlic, broken into cloves and peeled
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 cup lime juice
- The day before, remove the giblets and any lumps of fat from the turkey
cavities. Wash the turkey well and blot dry. Season the inside with salt and
pepper. Loosen the turkey skin from the meat. To do so, start at the neck and
tunnel your fingers, then whole hand, under the skin to separate the skin from
the breast meat. Slide your hand down to loosen the skin over the thighs, drumsticks
and back. Work carefully so as not to tear the skin.
- Prepare the marinade. Mash the garlic and salt to a paste in a mortar with
a pestle. Pound in the pepper, cumin, and oregano and last of all the lime juice
or sour orange juice. If you do not have a mortar and pestle, puree the ingredients
in a blender. Add 3 tablespoons marinade to the main cavity and 1 tablespoon
to the neck cavity. Place the remaining marinade under the skin. Work over a
roasting pan to catch any runoff from the marinade. Place the bird in a large
plastic bag with any excess marinade. Marinate the turkey overnight in the refrigerator,
turning several times.
- Heat the oven to 300 degrees F.
- Thinly slice the butter and place half of the slices under the skin. Melt
remaining butter. Truss the turkey and place it, breast side up, on a rack in
a roasting pan. Brush the skin of the bird with some melted butter. Loosely
drape a large piece of cheesecloth over the skin, then pour the remaining butter
and marinade over the cheesecloth. Roast the bird for 2 hours. Baste with the
juices and melted butter that collect in the pan. Lift the cheesecloth from
time to time to keep it from sticking to the bird. Increase oven temperature
to 350 degrees F and roast for 1 hour. Increase the heat to 400 degrees F and
remove the cheesecloth from the turkey. Roast 15-20 minutes, basting frequently.
- When cooked, the skin will be golden and the leg juices will run clear when
pricked with a fork. The internal temperature should be 185 degrees F on an
instant-read thermometer and the drumstick should feel loose when wiggled.
- Transfer the turkey to a platter or cutting board. Let stand for 15 minutes
- Strain the pan juices and serve in a gravy boat on the side.
Source: Miami Spice, the New Florida Cuisine
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