Turkey with a Latin Twist

Here’s an easy way to give some Latin flavor to your turkey.  I used many of the ingredients my mom uses for her pernil.

Click here for my video recipe Latin Turkey on Fox News Latino.

Thaw your turkey in the refrigerator for three days.  Brine two days before.  Season a day in advance and bake the next day.  This method will guarantee a turkey that is moist and finger licking good.


  • 12-13 Pound whole turkey
  • 6 Limes
  • 1-24 oz. Bottle bitter orange marinade (International foods aisle)
  • 12 garlic cloves
  • 1 ½ tablespoons dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 12 Spanish olives
  • 1 teaspoon capers
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 2 cups stock (chicken, turkey or vegetable)


  1. Two days in advance, start off with the brining method.  This is the secret to a moist turkey.  Empty the turkey cavity and place it in a pot large enough to submerge in water.  Pour over bitter orange marinade and freshly squeeze lime juice.  Add cool water.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. One day in advance, season the turkey.  Begin by draining the turkey from the brining liquid.  Rinse thoroughly and drain again.
  3. While draining the turkey, prepare your seasoning.  In a blender, mix garlic, oregano, black pepper, ground cumin, olives, capers salt, olive oil and vinegar until just blended.
  4. With a sharp knife, make a few one inch deep cuts throughout the turkey (avoid the bone).  Spoon some of the garlic mixture inside the small cuts around the turkey, and spread remaining mixture all over the turkey and under the skin.
  5. Cover and marinate overnight to let the flavors infuse.
  6. Day of, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place the turkey on a roasting pan that has a floating rack (for even cooking) and place the neck and giblets under the rack. Carefully pour any of the liquid from the turkey into roasting pan.  Add the 2 cups of wine and stock.
  7. Place turkey in preheated oven, calculating the roasting time according to the turkey’s weight (about 20 minutes per pound).
  8. After cooking, let turkey rest for 30 minutes before serving.
  9. Serve alongside a basic gravy recipe and roasted vegetables.

 Serves 10-12

Tags: ,

Categories: Thanksgiving

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3 Comments on “Turkey with a Latin Twist”

  1. Lyzeth
    November 27, 2013 at 2:15 am #

    I am curious why you don’t salt the brining liquid. I wonder how the salt will reach the deepest layers of the turkey breast if the salt is added after the day of brining. Can you let me know?

    • November 27, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

      Hi! The bitter orange and the limes give you the same type of taste sensation because of how your tongue reacts. Also, if you’re preparing a gravy, that too tends to be loaded with sodium which will cover any lack of salt you feel the turkey had upon seasoning. Would love to hear what you thought if you choose to go with my recipe. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. Turkey with a Latin Twist – DCG PUBLIC RELATIONS - November 23, 2016

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