Spice-Rubbed Turkey

Yield:
Serves 12
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried Anaheim chiles, seeds removed
  • 1 tablespoon dried red chiles
  • 3 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 3 tablespoons coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 turkey (16 to 18 pounds)
  • Spicy Cornbread Stuffing (recipe follows)
  • Spicy Cornbread Stuffing:
  • 3/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 recipe Jalapeno Cornbread, day old (recipe follows)
  • 1 pound cured chorizo sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 small onions, coarsely chopped
  • 6 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup homemade chicken or turkey stock, or low sodium canned chicken or turkey stock
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 bunch cilantro leaves, washed well, dried, and roughly chopped
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Jalapeno Cornbread:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 medium jalapenos, diced, with seeds
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup sugar
Directions

Using a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the coriander seeds and cumin seeds until fragrant, about 2 minutes. In a spice grinder, grind the oregano, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, Anaheim chiles, red chiles, paprika, salt, and peppercorns into a powder. Transfer to a bowl, and set aside.

Rinse turkey with cold water, making sure to clean neck and main cavity thoroughly. Pat inside and outside of bird dry with paper towels. The outside of bird must be dry for spice rub to adhere to skin.

Wearing rubber gloves, rub spice mixture thoroughly over entire bird. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Spices may be applied up to 1 day ahead. Allow bird to come to room temperature before stuffing.

Place rack in lower third of oven, and heat oven to 450 degrees. Stuff neck cavity with 3 to 4 cups of Spicy Cornbread Stuffing. Fold neck flap down, and secure to underside of turkey using stainless-steel trussing pins or wooden skewers. Stuff larger cavity with remaining stuffing.

Cut a piece of kitchen twine to twice the length of the turkey. Fold twine in two, and, starting at neck, bring twine forward around body of turkey ending at legs. Tie twine to secure wings and legs to body of bird. Cross turkey's legs, and tie together. Place trussed bird in a V-rack in a large roasting pan.

Transfer turkey to oven. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees. After the first hour, rotate pan every 30 minutes until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Remove from oven, and set aside for 30 minutes before carving.

Spicy Cornbread Stuffing:

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread pine nuts in one layer on a baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a shallow bowl, and set aside. Cut cornbread into 3/4-inch cubes, and spread evenly on a baking sheet. Bake, shaking pan periodically, until golden brown on edges, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl, and set aside.

In a food processor, pulse sausage until coarsely chopped; do not overprocess. Set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add celery and garlic, and cook until celery is soft, about 5 minutes more. Add sausage and pine nuts, and cook for 1 minute more. Add stock, and cook until absorbed, about 2 minutes.

Pour sausage mixture over cornbread, and mix well. Add butter and cilantro, and mix to combine. Let cool completely before stuffing turkey.

Yield: Makes about 10 cups, enough for a 16- to 18-pound turkey

Jalapeno Cornbread:

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly butter an 8-inch square pan. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and pepper.

In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, jalapenos, egg, sugar, and 2 tablespoons melted butter. Add to dry ingredients, and stir until just combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven, and cool for 10 minutes. Invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Yield: Makes 1 eight-inch square


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