Recipe courtesy of Jerome Grant

Pasilla Chile–Rubbed Turkey

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 4 hr 30 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 10 servings
“Don’t underestimate the ability of a simple turkey to wow a crowd! The dried chiles in this recipe are more smoky than spicy, giving the turkey an intense, deep flavor. A fragrant paste of sweet agave nectar, roasted garlic and fresh cilantro turns the skin a wonderful shade of brown," says Jerome.



  1. Preheat the oven to 400˚ F. Wrap the garlic in foil and roast on a baking sheet until tender, about 40 minutes. Let cool, then unwrap and squeeze out 20 garlic cloves onto a plate (reserve the rest for another use). Reduce the oven temperature to 350˚ F.
  2. Place the pasilla chiles on a baking sheet. Roast until fragrant and a bit softened, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, cover with water and soak until further softened, 10 to 15 minutes; drain. Discard the stems, then seed the chiles, if desired.
  3. Transfer the chiles to a blender with the garlic, tomatoes, chopped onions, agave, 3 tablespoons salt, the olive oil and mustard; puree. Transfer to a bowl; fold in the cilantro.
  4. Spread the chile paste all over the turkey. Loosen the skin on the breast and drumsticks; spread some paste underneath.
  5. Put the turkey breast-side up in a roasting pan; stuff the quartered onion, carrots and celery in the cavity, then tie the legs together with twine. Roast, basting with the pan juices and rotating the pan halfway through, until a thermometer inserted into the breast registers 165˚ F, about 3 hours. Tent with foil if the turkey gets too dark; add some stock or water to the pan to keep the drippings from burning. Let rest 30 minutes before carving.