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Barbecued Turkey with Mayan Spices

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Active Time:  15 Minutes
Total Time:  7 Hours 25 Minutes
  Serves 12
Annatto is a rust-colored spice with an earthy flavor. For extra flavor and moistness, loosen the turkey skin and rub some of the marinade underneath it.
2 small dried red hot peppers
1 tablespoon annatto seeds
1 cup water
2 cups fresh orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

One 10- to 12-pound turkey; neck, heart and giblets removed

4 cups mequite wood smoke chips, soaked in water 30 minutes, drained
Disposable 9-by-6-by-1-inch aluminum broiler pans

1 tablespoon olive oil
Combine peppers, annatto seeds and 1 cup water in heavy small saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until the peppers soften and 3 tablespoons liquid remain, about 10 minutes. Transfer peppers and annatto seeds to blender. Add orange juice, lime juice, garlic, oregano, salt, cumin and pepper. Puree 1 minute. Strain mixture into bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. The marinade should be very spicy. (Marinade can be made 1 day ahead.)

Rinse turkey and pat dry with paper towels. Gently loosen turkey skin from body. To do so, start at neck and tunnel fingers, then whole hand, under skin to separate skin from breast meat. Slide hand in deeper to loosen skin over thighs, drumsticks, and back. Work carefully so as not to tear skin. Spoon 3 tablespoons marinade into main cavity and 1 tablespoon into neck cavity. Spoon half of remaining marinade under turkey skin. Cover turkey and refrigerate 4 hours.

Mound lump charcoal in barbecue and burn until light gray. Using tongs, carefully divide hot charcoal into 2 piles, 1 pile at each side of barbecue. Sprinkle each pile with generous 1/2 cup mesquite chips. Place empty broiler pan between piles. Position grill at least 6 inches above charcoal. Position vents on barbecue so that chips smoke and charcoal burn but do not flame.

Preheat barbecue with all burners on high. Turn off center burner and lower outside burners to medium-low heat. Place generous 1/2 cup mesquite chips in each of 2 broiler pans. Set pans over 2 lit burners. Place empty broiler pan over unlit burner. Position grill at least 6 inches above burners.

Brush outside of turkey with remaining marinade and oil. Tuck wing tips under turkey body. Tie legs together to hold shape. Sprinkle turkey with salt and pepper. Arrange breast side up on grill, centering above empty broiler pan. Cover and cook until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 160 degrees F, adding 1 cup mesquite chips (and 7 charcoal pieces if using charcoal barbecue) to barbecue every 30 minutes, about 3 hours.

Transfer turkey to platter, tent with foil to keep warm, and let rest for 10 minutes. Carve and serve.

Recipe created exclusively for by Steven Raichlen.

Recipe reprinted by permission of . All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008
Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   Serves 12
Calories: 762
Fat. Total: 37g
Fiber: 1g
Carbohydrates, Total: 6g
Sodium: 893mg
% Cal. from Fat: 44%
Cholesterol: 361mg
Protein: 95g
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