Puerto Rican Roasted Turkey: Nothing Like the Holidays
- Servings: 12
- 1/4 cup Olive oil
- 1 tsp. Achiote seeds
- 6 minced Garlic Cloves
- 1 tbsp. Powdered cumin
- 2 tbsp. Sea salt
- 2 tsp. Black pepper
- 1 tsp. Fresh thyme leaves
- 1 14-lb. Whole turkey, fresh or frozen, thawed
- Ripe plantain stuffing:
- 1/2 cup Golden raisins
- 1/4 cup Gold rum
- 10 Plantains, very ripe
- 8 oz. Butter
- 1/2 cup Water
- Sugar to taste
- 1 Cinnamon stick
- Gently heat olive oil and add achiote seeds. Steep for 10 minutes and allow oil to turn a bright red/orange color. (Do not fry seeds or the oil will become bitter.) Strain.
- Mix garlic with spices. Stir in achiote oil until it forms a paste.
- Pat turkey dry with paper towels. Rub turkey with a thin layer of the spice rub. Cover and marinate turkey in the refrigerator for about 10-15 hours.
- Loosely fill turkey cavity with the plantain stuffing. Fold turkey wings under the back of the turkey and return legs to the tucked position. Place turkey on rack, and set in large shallow roasting pan. Roast turkey in a 325 degree F oven, basting occasionally with pan drippings. Roast for approximately 3-1/2 to 4 hours or until the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 180 degrees F in the thigh and the stuffing reaches 165 degrees F.
- Loosely tent the turkey with foil and allow turkey to rest for about 15-20 minutes prior to carving.
- Place on a platter and garnish with chili peppers and orange slices.
- Ripe Plantain Stuffing: Plump raisins in rum. Peel and cube the plantains. Melt butter in a skillet and sauté plantains. Add water, sugar and cinnamon stick. Cook until the plantains are soft, about 25 minutes. Add run and raisins and cook for 10 more minutes. Slightly mash plantains. Let cool.
From November to January Puerto Ricans enjoy holiday parties and large family dinners almost daily, starting with the Thanksgiving turkey which is seasoned with spices, raisins, rum, plantains, etc. Instead of the thin slices seen in the North, a baked turkey in Puerto Rico is often cut into large blocks or chunks to be served on a plate.