It’s A Spicy Turkey!
Pavo Festivo (Spicy Turkey) amalia llc

Pavo Festivo (Spicy Turkey)If you are a lover of all things spicy, this Latin style turkey is for you! Not only it is different and easy to make, but it is truly delicious.

One way to inject quick flavor into your holiday bird is to rub it with some of the traditional spices blended with Latin spices. This adobo (spice rub) is simple and effective as all you have to do is take the time to mix your favorite spice blend and rub it onto the turkey or protein of your choice.

For best results, marinate your turkey with the spices for several hours or overnight. Carefully lift the bird’s skin where possible and add the spice rub there too.

¡Feliz Día de Acción de Gracias! (Happy Thanksgiving!)

PAVO FESTIVO (Holiday Turkey)

Recipe by Chef Amalia Moreno-Damgaard (

Serves 8 to 10 people

1 10 to 12-pound turkey, rinsed and patted dry

1 tablespoon canola oil

2 tablespoons ground achiote

3 teaspoons thyme

2 teaspoons nutmeg

2 teaspoons ground sage

1 tablespoons guaque (guajillo) chile powder

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Combine all of the spices in a bowl. Rub the turkey with the oil, and the spices, salt, and pepper.

Transfer the turkey to the oven and roast it until done (3 to 3 1/2 hours), or when a meat thermometer reads 165°F. Because of carryover heat, the turkey will continue to cook outside the oven. Its internal temperature will rise about 10°F, bringing the turkey to the proper and safe temperature of 175°F. If you wait until the thermometer reads 175°F to take the turkey out of the oven, it will be overcooked and dry.

Serve the turkey with stuffing on the side and drizzle both with the cooking juices.

Amalia’s Note

I prefer not to stuff turkeys before cooking them because this increases the cooking time and tends to dry out the meat.