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!

61 comments:

hollow.nerd said...

Chef John , I want to do this on a whole chicken because turkey aint available in my area, so how much should my chicken weigh and should I scale down the spicy a bit.Thanks a lot and hope you have a wonderful holidays

Juan Kulas said...

Hello Chef John,

Thank you for another great Thanksgiving recipe!

I will be making this for this Thanksgiving, although I do have a few questions.

Would this work for Chicken?

I typically brine my Turkey, would that get in the way (flavor wise, or any other way)?

Thanks again!

Fan since '09

Chef John said...

It will definitely work for chicken, since....it's a chicken recipe I'm using for turkey! (see post)

Not sure if this needs brining, but suite yourself. Enjoy!

Chef John said...

Hollow,
the size of the bird is irrelevant. You just need enough rub to coat everything. This recipe was plenty for a 12.7 pound turkey, so that would be enough for probably 3 chickens, give or take.

Juan Kulas said...

Ooops! Didn't read the post, was so excited for the recipe and went straight to the video :-)

How long do you think I can fridge the rub without it going bad? My thoughts are I would make a batch for chicken and use it over time on other chickens.

Thanks

Mike Zarate said...

WHAT ABOUT STUFFING IT???

Chef John said...

Sorry, my wet rub shelf life knowledge is very limited. The garlic won't keep long.

Chef John said...

I don't believe in stuffing turkeys... or typing in all caps.

OneGamersOdyssey said...

Looks great Chef John, a question: I was thinking about smoking my turkey over wood chips in a traditional black round barbeque, do you think this Peruvian rub would go well with that cooking method? Thanks for this wonderful website!

hinermat said...

with all the black pepper and cumin is it hot tasting? I'd love to try this for Thanksgiving but my daughter doesn't like spicy foods.

Madonna/aka/Ms Lemon of Make Mine Lemon said...

I love this. I also love all your cookware/bakeware.

janeofalltrades said...

Hm, Chef John, no off-color comments about rubbing the chicken... Everything okay?
Looks amazing! Can't wait to try it!

PJ said...

Looks delicious! Might give it a try for Christmas.

hawkwing45 said...

Chef,

First, this looks amazing!

Second, I sadly have to endure heartburn whenever I have certain trigger foods- namely, garlic, pepper, and vinegar. Those three were principal in this recipe. Can you suggest alternatives?

Corey said...

"for that to count you have to call bank" classic, haha

Chef John said...

hawkwing45, those are too key, so I would find another recipe.

Chef John said...

People asking about chicken times. I can't give them since it depends on time, but simply use whatever method you current use for roasting chicken and apply this glaze. You don't want to roast chicken at 325. Don't over-think this, as it would be just another way to flavor your chicken. You'd cook it the same way you always do (or watch some of our chicken roasted videos!) ;)

Chef John said...

Not sure about a smoker. Unless I try something myself I don't like to guess.

Azi said...

This looks great Chef!

I have two questions: while this will certainly enter the roasted chicken cycle, I wanted to know if you think this rub will work with duck too. Generally duck is great with bold tastes but I am not sure about this particular profile.

Second, for Kosher reasons, do you think I can substitute the creme fresh in the sauce with cocnut milk/cream?

Thanks for the continuous stream of techniques and tips. They always help to bring my cooking up a notch.
AG

NoUseForAName said...

Hey CJ. Can you show us how to cut and serve this bird proprly, now? Thanks!

Georgia Dabinett said...

I was waiting for you to scratch it with a fork already!

Thanks for the recipe!

Ga

cookinmom said...

Ah man...gonna buy an extra turkey on sale and freeze it so that I can try it in January. Or I may get a thumbs up from my hubby since we have no family this year!

JIMW said...

I cut a whole chicken into pieces and halved the recipe amounts. Cooked for 1 hr. in a portable convection oven. Liked it very much but plan to cut back on the cumin next time.

Reminds me of what was called "blacken chicken" when I was in Lima, Peru many, many years ago.

XxMusicforeverXx said...

Hi chef John I loved the recipe and I can't wait to try it this thanksgiving but I have one question. I've never tried this Peruvian marinade and I noticed you used a lot of garlic is the turkey going to taste very strongly of garlic?

Chef John said...

XxMusicforeverXx, i can never answer these kind of questions because what's strong for one is mild for another.

Bill Best said...

If crème fraiche isn't available, can you substitute it with a combination of sour cream and mayonnaise? If so, what ratio would you suggest.

Going to try this today. Canadian Thanksgiving was at the beginning of October so I'm finally ready for some more turkey. :)

..plus I got one across the border in the US for 48 cents a pound. A poultry sum. ;)

Rob D said...

Hey Chef John,
I love the tip on getting the marinade under the Breast skin. I usually inject my birds, do you think injecting the thighs and legs with this marinade would be overkill ?
All Clad roasting pan ? I'm extremely jealous !!!

Chef John said...

Sorry never used one of those meat injector things! Not sure!

Chef John said...

I would just use all sour cream and no mayo, but unlike creme fraiche sour cream will seperate.

Krista said...

How spicy was this? My husband and I can handle the heat, but what about the kids?

Chef John said...

Again, I can't answer this b/c I don't know your tastes or tolerances! It's not that spicy heat-wise, very spicy spice-wise.

avenaJolic said...

Hey Chef John, great job on the recipe!!! This totally sounds like Pollo a la Brasa to me (I'm Peruvian) I have to say peruvian mothers make this recipe for Christmas time here. Everyone should give it a try!!! So yum! Thanks for posting

Food Junkie said...

Looking forward to this one chef John. I brined a chicken (since Thanksgiving is long past in the True North) and seeing as how many of these recipes marinate overnight I am giving that a try. Peruvian chicken for dinner tomorrow.

Chris Mezzolesta said...

Got my "Pavo a la Brasa" for lack of a better term sitting out waiting to go in the oven. Have been enjoying your recipes for a while now, but this one was actually a bounce-over from another on YouTube, I was not looking for a turkey recipe but there it was! So the wife & I said Hey, turkeys are stupid cheap with min purchase this week, let's get 2! Although I am all about spicy, I can't imagine this rub being TOO hot at all, as long as one uses regular sweet paprika for the "regular" part and not hot paprika. [there is no "chile" per se] Then the sweet smoked as usual (my go-to ingredient for everything it seems!) The black pepper might give it some sharpness, but no more so than the vinegar I'd imagine, and the cumin should only do the same...I'll say this, it tasted great coming off the spatula (PRE-bird of course) so I can only imagine how it's gonna taste later this afternoon. Viva Chef John!

vwbug said...

You can always make creme fraiche with some yogurt, heavy cream, vigorous shaking, and 2 days.

E Nick said...

Chef John,
Something that gives cranberry sauce a little something something: blueberries. I add them with about 2 minutes left of cooking time. I use 3:1 the amount of cranberries to blueberries. The blueberries make you wonder why cranberry sauce has been a one-fruit sauce for so long, aside from the occasional orange peel that's added in as a pity gesture. I think the blueberry lobby should work harder to remedy this.

nathan said...

i plan on trying this out and smoking the chickens instead of roasting them. with my smoker i get the most incredible and moist meats like you would never believe. i just use a weber one touch gold and it takes about 45 min on 250-325m, i just go by internal temp.

Raychel said...

Chef John,
I cut down this recipe in to a quarter and got some turkey legs from the store. WOW! I wasn't sure about all that cumin at first but it was so yummy and moist. Thank you for such an amazing recipe

Jill Kendall said...

To anyone that has made this before: might a traditional (or non-traditional, that blueberry idea sounds wonderful) cranberry sauce combine well with all of these bold flavors on the turkey and in the sauce? Thanks, I can't wait to try this recipe tomorrow!

Carmen Chan said...

Thanks Chef John! I'm using all your recipes for Thanksgiving this year. My pumpkin cheesecake is in the fridge, so is my French Onion green bean casserole, and I'm about to start this Peruvian turkey soon. Can't wait!

Jose Portillo said...

Chef John,

Wish me luck I'm cooking a 20 lbs turkey had to double up on the ingredients. Will update after tomorrow, any tips would be Appreciated.

JP

Jose Portillo said...

Chef John,

Wish me luck I'm cooking a 20 lbs turkey had to double up on the ingredients. Will update after tomorrow, any tips would be Appreciated.

JP

Lara Quraysh said...

Hi Chef John, i am planning on making an 18 lb turkey today and would really appreciate your input on how to adjust the ingredient amounts. Please help!

lemont calhoun said...

Will this work for smoked turkey?

Sofie230 said...

We just sliced this beautiful turkey. Even took a picture with me looking "shocked" at a " burned" turkey. LOL.

It was as juicy and flavorful as you described. Yowser!!!

Since it is only the two of us, this will be great for the coming week.

Just had to post to say, how awesome. Ima gonna try this on chicken next.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Unknown said...

This made my turkey the talk at the table. My dad dislikes white meat because it's dry; with this rub the breast was so juicy and my dad asked for seconds.

Mentok said...

Hey Chef John, I made this recipe and the crust never became a "crust" it was delicious but never became hard like in your video. I did make it about an hour or so ahead of time and wondered if that might have caused it to be soft and powdery. The overall flavor was a huge hit though, I made two turkeys, Peruvian and my usual smoked turkey and the Peruvian was the winner in terms of taste.

Thanks for all you do, your recipes and videos are the best.

Gergy said...

Chef, may I ask as to the brand of roast pan and rack you were using in this video?

much appreciated.

I'm using this recipe but on a whole chicken. Since we're past xgiving I don't want turkey for a while. :)

G

Chef John said...

It's an All Clad. Enjoy!

Jihadbaby said...

This was amazing. Do more Peruvian dishes.

Jeff Newman said...

Just made this recipe for myself with an extra turkey I had (didn't want to upset the family by straying from tradition) and it was mind blowingly wonderful. My wife who generally hates turkey was in love with this one. Thanks for all the great recipes, can't wait for the next!

Privatisten said...

I'm from Norway, and I'm wondering if the cup-size is U.S? as equal to 236ml?

Chef John said...

Yes!

Plo21 said...

can I use a bit of aji panca? would it change the flavoring if I were to add a teaspoon o so to the mix?

Chef John said...

Sorry, never heard of that!

Miss. Lady said...

I tried this recipe once for chicken and it turned out ok (forgot to salt the chicken before putting it in the oven). I wanted to know would it be ok to marinate the chicken overnight?

gautam said...

Chef John,

Your Peruvian turkey reminded me of a very interesting salvadoran turkey. Wonder if you will experiment and add your own refinements? It is actually served as a sandwich, along with the special gravy or sauce that is created while baking, and then further processed.

Basically, a turkey or chicken is rubbed with a spice mixture, roasted on a bed of vegetables, along with its giblets, and this aromatic mix is then blended, mixed with stock and transformed into a sauce to be served with the sliced meat in sandwiches a salad of radish,watercress, cabbage etc. with a sprightly dressing to cut the richness.

http://www.whats4eats.com/poultry/pavo-salvadoreno-recipe

See here for example.

So first we make a spice mixture which is a simple mixture of toasted sesame, peanut and pumpkin seed along with an aromatic chile, some thyme and NO bay leaves [they can go in the roasting bed, please!].

Rub this on turkey thighs or chicken leg quarters, plus some dijon mustard or any mustard, some L&P, and maybe beer? Marinade overnight?

Roasting bed: very rough chopped onion, whole peeled garlic cloves, some roasted or raw red peppers, green olives, capers, prunes, bay leaf, scant stock?

Roast, adding the giblets when appropriate. Remove meat. Defat as necessary. Process everything including giblets, sans bay leaf, strain, add stock to create sauce of desirable viscosity.

Just using thighs or turkey wings takes an awkward bird like a turkey and reduces it to manageable proportions, and chicken leg quarters are the cheapest cut of meat one can buy. Not an expensive experiment. What do you say?

Rachel Page said...

Thanks so much for posting this, I am about to attempt a whole turkey in my slow cooker today.

Clemence Martin said...

Hi Chef John(is it Jhon, can you even write it like that)
Anyways, I'm twelve and I wanted to attempt this for Thanksgiving this year along with your sweet potato dish. I love how juicy the turkey is but I was wondering if I could still use stuffing in the turkey. If so, should I stuff it and also use the paste or should I just stuff it, or does it not even matter because it'll be amazing either way?

Chef John said...

I don't recommend cooking the bird stuffed. Do your stuffing on the side. Enjoy!

Clemence Martin said...

I just did this along with your sweet rolls and your sweet potato dish. I was not a bog fan of turkey before but it was so juicy, so flavorful, it will definitely become a tradition. Thank you!!