Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and the news of the death of Fidel Castro made me remember, I don't know why, of Puerto Rico. And from one of its most sui generis dishes, the turkey. The human mind has those things ...

Puerto Ricans enthusiastically celebrate the traditions of their Spanish heritage and also commemorate national heroes with national pride, but they have also adopted some of the North American traditions giving it a very different nuance in some respects.


In Puerto Rico, Turkey Day is celebrated, as many call it, and on this day the Christmas festivities begin. Besides the typical music, the "assaults" and decorations, the most important thing in this celebration is the food. In the culinary, practically the only coincidence is that they eat turkey.

The turkey is marinated in the style of the suckling pig. This is why it is called "pavochón". While in the United States, the filling is made with bread with spices, sage or chestnuts, in Puerto Rico it is filled with banana or yuca mofongo, rice with beans, pork and even pastry dough. Ah, the cakes cannot be missed!

Other easy recipes to make < Rice with lobsters >> < Quinoa Salad with Alfalfa >> < Oeufs en cocotte or Eggs en cocotte >>

For the appetizers, they have almojábanas (rice flour fritters), black pudding, bacalaítos, yautía fritters and many other Puerto Rican delicacies. For desserts, the pumpkin or cheese flan, tembleque and arroz con dulce.

In the drinks, you can not miss the rich coquito and the rum cañita.

How to easily prepare turkey

To prepare the turkey for 10-12 people you will need the following


  • A 6-7 kg turkey
  • 12 cloves of garlic
  • 12 black peppercorns
  • 1 ½ tablespoons dried oregano
  • 4 tablespoons coriander chopped
  • 7 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup of orange juice
  • Salt
  • ½ cup white wine
  • Butter

For the mofongo filling:

  • 6-8 large green bananas, peeled
  • 8 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 8 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 pound pork rind or bacon well browned and crisp
  • Frying oil

Preparation of the Mofongo

  1. Drain the bananas, cut them into pieces and pat them dry. Turkey
  2. In a frying pan, heat the oil and fry the bananas for about 12 minutes at medium-high heat until they turn a golden color. Making sure to tack them half the time. Try not to brown them too much so that it is easy to mash them.
  3. Take them out of the oil, drain them well on kitchen paper and mash them in a basin or deep container.
  4. Prepare the garlic mixture
  5. In a saucepan, grind the garlic and add the olive oil and the pork rind or bacon.
  6. Mix the ingredients well. Place the mixture in another container.
  7. Mash or grind the tostones on the pestle. You will have to do several batches because they do not all fit on the pylon at the same time.
  8. While you are mashing, add a little of the garlic mixture so that it is distributed in the mass of tostones. Do not use the food processor to grind the plantains because they will be too ground. The consistency should be rustic with large and small pieces in the dough.
  9. Once you have mashed all the tostones, combine the different batches in a single container and add the rest of the garlic mixture. Distribute well.
  10. Add salt and ground black pepper to your liking.

Turkey Preparation

For best results, marinate the meat the day before. The meat will absorb the salts and spices from the marinade completely and the result will be much better.

  1. Wash the turkey well and pat dry.
  2. Insert the knife under the leather and carefully peel it off. This is done to be able to marinate the internal part. You should not remove the leather completely, only until you allow your hand to add the marinade.
  3. Make the wet marinade. In the basin, crush the garlic. Add the rest of the ingredients and combine well to form a paste.
  4. Make several incisions in the turkey under the leather to allow the inside of the meat to be marinated.
  5. Marinate the turkey with your hands and introduce the marinade into all incisions.
  6. Store in the refrigerator until the next day covered with aluminum foil or cling film.
  7. Take it out of the fridge and preheat the oven while you prepare the filling.

A very Puerto Rican idea is to fill it with mofongo.

  1. Fill with the mofongo.
  2. You will need to tie the legs of the turkey with a string or brabant. Turkey
  3. Cover the tips of them with aluminum foil so they do not get chamuzque.
  4. Cover the entire turkey with butter.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180 ° C.
  6. Place the turkey on a baking sheet.
  7. Cover with aluminum foil to make the meat juicy and prevent it from drying out.
  8. Cook for 4 to 6 hours at 150ºC, depending on the weight of the turkey.
  9. If the leather is not crisp enough for your taste, uncover the turkey and raise the temperature to 200 ° C for 15 minutes.
  10. Once it's ready, lower the heat and keep it to a minimum until serving time.
  11. Every 30 minutes, water the turkey with the juice that is in the bottom and if it dries you can wash it with more marinade and butter.
  12. Take out of the oven and enjoy the turkey with your loved ones and friends.

Since the next dinner I have scheduled is Christmas, I already know what I'm going to serve. And you?

Tell people about this turkey recipe and if you want, come over here at Christmas and try it, ok?

I am going down!

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