Want to try something new and bold with that plain old turkey? This festive Mexican turkey recipe is a great way to spice up a bird. Poaching it makes for super moist meat and the spicy adobo sauce really takes turkey to the next level! Say goodbye to your old boring dry thanksgiving turkey. Let’s get after y’all!Jump to Recipe
“Gobble Gobble”-Juan T.S. Byrd
I can’t believe more people don’t poach their turkeys. I’ve done all sorts of things to my birds in search of the best way to keep it moist. I’ve brined, smoked, roasted, and in my darkest days of defeat I’ve been reduced to buying precooked turkey from the store.
You can certainly achieve a delicious and moist bird without poaching it, but I found this was BY FAR the easiest way. I literally pulled the breasts off the carcass with my hands. So what exactly does poaching a turkey look like?
Poaching is a gentle cooking method that involves simmering food in liquid, such as water or broth. For this Mexican turkey recipe, we use both, and some beer.
Simply bring all the ingredients to a boil, drop your turkey in, simmer for 45 minutes, and let it cool in the liquid for a couple hours. Then transfer the entire pot to fridge, let it sleep overnight, and the next day all it needs is a short roast in the oven.
I was skeptical at first, but I promise you, poaching a turkey is an easy way to get a tasty juicy bird.
POACHED MEXICAN TURKEY RECIPE WITH ADOBO SAUCE
Mexican Turkey Ingredients
Here is what you’ll need for this Mexican turkey recipe.
- Turkey: A smaller bird will certainly be easier to handle here, as you’ll be dropping it into a pot of liquid whole. Fridge space is a consideration too.
- Poaching Liquid: You can have some fun here. I like to use turkey or chicken stock, a dark Mexican beer and some classic veggies and herbs. Carrots, garlic, onions, cilantro, oregano, and an orange. Feel free to add or subtract whatever you like.
- Duck Fat/Butter: You’re going to rub this in between the flesh and the skin of the bird to help maintain optimal juicienss. I like duck fat because its got a great flavor and its a healthier fat than butter.
- Adobo Sauce: For this Mexican turkey recipe we like to use dried Puya peppers instead of Guajillo peppers for the adobo sauce. They’re very similar but the Puya is spicer and we like bold flavors.
Mexican Turkey Special Equipment
You’ll need these items to make this Mexican turkey recipe.
- Large Pot: Depending on how big a bird you buy will determine how big a pot you’ll need. I suggest getting a 10-12lb bird. That size will fit nicely in a large stock pot.
- Twine: It’s best to tress the turkey, as you’ll be handling the bird a lot. Lower it into the pot, extracting it from the pot, and putting it in and out of the oven. A simple knot around the legs helps the bird keep shape.
- Roasting Pan: You’re gonna need something to put that bird on before you slide it into the oven. A simple sheet pan will be problematic. Go get you a proper roasting pan.
How to Make Mexican Turkey
Follow these steps to make our Mexican turkey recipe.
Step 1: Create your Poaching Liquid
Choose a large pot or Dutch oven that is big enough to hold the turkey and enough liquid to cover it. Add the beer, chicken stock, veggies, and enough water to fill it half way up. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Step 2: Prep your Mexican Turkey
Clean the turkey by rinsing it with cold water in the sink. Using your fingers, gently separate the skin from the breast and upper thighs. Try not to tear the skin.
Once the skin is loose, rub the duck fat or butter in between the skin and flesh and all over the outside. Stuff the cilantro, oregano, and quartered onion and orange inside the turkey. Truss the turkey.
Step 3: Poach your Mexican Turkey
Once your liquid starts to boil add the turkey to pot and adjust the heat so it simmers. Make sure the turkey is fully submerged and cover. Simmer for 45 minutes,
Remove the pot from heat and leave the bird in the poaching liquid while everything cools to room temp. Around 3-4 hours. Refrigerate overnight.
Step 4: Roast your Mexican Turkey
The following day, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Transfer the turkey to a roasting pan, and roast it in the oven for 35 minutes. Turn off oven and leave the turkey inside for at least 15 minutes.
Step 5: Carve, Sauce, and Serve your Mexican Turkey
Once your turkey has rested long enough, remove it from the oven and carve it. Serve a couple slices and top with the adobo sauce. Enjoy!
If you don’t know how to carve a turkey, here’s a great step by step video on How to Carve a turkey.
How to Truss a Mexican Turkey
Trussing a turkey is a technique that helps to keep the legs and wings of the turkey close to its body before cooking. This helps to keep the turkey moist and evenly cooked, as well as creating a more attractive presentation. Truss me, it’s worth doing… (sorry)
Start by laying it breast side up on a cutting board or other flat surface. Take your kitchen twine and tie the legs of the turkey together at the ankle joint, pull the twine tightly to secure the legs in place.
Next, tuck the wings of the turkey under the body, using a toothpick or small skewer to hold them in place. Take the ends of the twine and tie them around the body of the turkey, pulling the twine tight to hold the wings and legs in place.
See! Easy peasy, nothing that should tie you up too long. (okay I’m done)
How to Make Spicy Adobo Sauce
Mole is “Sauce” in Spanish. Use dried peepers and shit to shit on this shit. It’ll be tasty and stuff and so nice on that turkey baby. So follow these steps to make the mole for your Mexican turkey.
Step 1: Clean your peppers
Clean the dried puya chilies by removing the stem, seeds, and membranes.
Step 2: Rehydrate your peppers
Place the cleaned puya chilies in a bowl and cover them with almost boiling hot water. Allowing them to soak for around 10 minutes. This will soften them back up.
Gather the rest of your ingredients while you wait for the peppers to rehydrate.
Step 3: Blend Everything
Now toss your rehydrated peppers into a blender. Add the chipotle peppers from the can, the vinegar, orange juice, orange zest, garlic, and all the spices. Blend until smooth.
For a more smooth sauce you can strain everything through a cheesecloth. We like our sauce thicker with a little grit, so we it’s ready to go right out of the blender.
Just transfer it to a jar or serving container and set aside until you’re ready to serve the turkey.
Mexican Turkey Leftovers
Let’s be honest, leftovers are the best part of making a whole turkey. There aren’t many things better than a thick piece of turkey, lettuce, and tomato between two slices of mayo slathered white bread. Here’s some more fun ideas for turkey leftovers.
So your turkey will be just fine in the fridge for a bout week. Just make sure you keep it in an airtight container. Save the neck, bone, and carcass for a great turkey stock. You can freeze that stuff for a couple months.
This recipe calls for poaching the turkey. SAVE that poaching liquid! It’s a beautiful broth that makes an awesome base for all sorts of things like sauces, soups, and my favorite Turkey Congee. Check out the recipe! Turkey Congee Recipe.
If you don’t want to simply enjoy the turkey meat as is, you’ve got endless opportunities for fun recipes with the leftovers. Cooking that big bird was the hard part, now use your imagination and that pile of meat for some tasty meals. Cheers!
Mexican Turkey Mexican Turkey Mexican Turkey Mexican Turkey Mexican Turkey Mexican Turkey Mexican Turkey Mexican Turkey Mexican Turkey Mexican Turkey Mexican Turkey Mexican Turkey Mexican Turkey Mexican Turkey Mexican Turkey Mexican Turkey