Ancho-Rubbed Turkey

Total Time:
8 hr 25 min
Prep:
45 min
Inactive:
5 hr 5 min
Cook:
2 hr 35 min

Yield:
8 to 10 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • 2 dried ancho chile peppers
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 red Fresno chile pepper, stemmed and quartered
  • 6 cloves garlic, halved
  • 1 bunch scallions, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 bunch fresh parsley, leaves and stems separated
  • 1/2 small bunch fresh cilantro, leaves and stems separated
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 12 - to 14-pound turkey, thawed if frozen
  • Freshly ground pepper
Directions
  • Cook the ancho chiles, sesame seeds and cumin seeds in a small dry skillet over medium heat, stirring, until the seeds are toasted and the anchos are pliable, 3 minutes. Transfer the anchos to a bowl; transfer the seeds to a food processor. Cover the anchos with hot water and let soften, 5 to 10 minutes; drain, then remove the stems and seeds. Add the anchos to the food processor. Add the Fresno chile, garlic, scallions, parsley and cilantro leaves, olive oil, raisins and 1 tablespoon salt to the food processor. Pulse to make a paste.

  • Remove the neck and giblets from the turkey; set aside for the gravy. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels. Work your fingers between the skin and the meat on the breast and the top of the legs. Rub the chile paste under the skin and on the outside. Stuff the parsley and cilantro stems into the cavity. Season inside and out with 1 tablespoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Put the turkey on a rack set in a large roasting pan; tuck the wings under the body. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.

  • Position an oven rack in the lowest position (remove the other racks); preheat to 350 degrees F. Uncover the turkey and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Roast until a thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 165 degrees F, 2 1/2 to 3 hours, tenting any parts that brown too quickly with foil.

  • Transfer the turkey to a cutting board and let rest 30 minutes before carving. Serve with the gravy or pan drippings.

  • Photograph by Ryan Dausch


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    This recipe is featured in:

    Top Turkeys for Thanksgiving