I have turkey on the brain right now so for the next three weeks, you’re going to see a post a week from me on the subject. If you’re really lucky, it may even induce a food coma.
Blending turkey with chiles works extremely well. Although I haven’t gone full spicy with peppers in every dish for Thanksgiving, this is mostly due to my family’s intimidation by my love of capsaicin (barbecue Thanksgiving was a hit, though). Maybe next year…
- 6 cascabel chiles, stems and seeds removed, or substitute 2 of the chiles above
- 1/4 cup chopped onions
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 2 teaspoons achiote paste (available in Hispanic markets)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano, Mexican preferred
- Pinch ground cloves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 turkey legs
- In a pan, saute the chiles and onion in the oil until softened. Add the garlic and cumin and continue to sauté for an additional minute. Remove from the heat.
- Combine the chile mixture along with the oil, orange juice, lime juice, achiote paste, oregano, cloves, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender and puree until a smooth sauce.
- Make slits in the turkey to allow the chile oil marinade to penetrate. Place the turkey and marinade in a large plastic bag and marinate overnight.
- Prepare the smoker using hickory or pecan wood and smoke the legs in 200 degree smoke for 3 to 3 ½ hours or until the turkey is done to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. If you wish to continue marinating, simmer the marinade in a pan for 20 minutes and brush it over the legs occasionally. When done, remove the turkey from the smoker and brush with the marinade.
- To serve, slice the smoked turkey off the legs and serve with the sauce of your choice.