Photo by Sonia Mendez Garcia

Pavo en Adobo (Adobo Marinated Turkey)

Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Give your turkey dinner a Latin twist with this easy to follow recipe for adobo marinated turkey!

Growing up enjoying mole de pavo (turkey mole), I could not help but give my holiday turkey a Latin twist with this pavo en adobo recipe! When your taste buds crave a bit of spice at dinner, this made-from-scratch adobo sauce is just right fix.

Over the years, I have tried many different recipes for turkey. The best results for a moist and fairly easy turkey has been when I roast it in a roasting bag. I cannot stress enough that you should plan ahead for preparing your pavo en adobo.

Check out Hispanic Kitchen for some other holiday foods with a Latin twist to make your dinner complete.


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For Adobo
  1. Remove the stems and seeds from the chile guajillo and transfer them to a saucepan. Peel garlic and add to saucepan. Cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes.
  2. While peppers are cooling, gather your ingredients. In the blender, add the achiote, orange juice, lime juice, cider vinegar, chipotles, oregano, cumin and pepper. Using a slotted spoon, add the chile guajillo and garlic. Add ¼ cup of fresh water and season, to taste, with salt. Blend on high until smooth. If sauce is too thick, add a little more water. Strain through a wire mesh strainer into a bowl, set aside.
For Turkey
  1. Wash turkey with cool water and pat dry. Clean the inside of turkey. Season the inside with salt and pepper. Add butter, lime and sliced onion to the inside as well.
  2. Carefully place the turkey inside of roaster bag. Hold the bag open and pour adobo over the top of turkey. Use your hand to spread and rub the adobo all over the exposed parts of the turkey. Wash hands. Zip-tie the bag and marinate the turkey overnight.
  3. When ready to cook, remove turkey from refrigerator at least one hour before. Prepare a large roasting pan with a roasting rack insert. Add 4 cups of water to the bottom of the pan. Place turkey on top of the rack. Roast in a 350 degree preheated oven for 2- 2 ½ hours. Rotate the whole pan after one hour. Turkey is done when meat thermometer reads 165 degrees near the inner thigh area of turkey.
  4. Carefully cut away the roaster bag, letting all of the juices fall into the pan. Return the turkey to the oven, uncover and roast for another 10 to 15 minutes, just to brown the skin a little more. Remove turkey from oven and let rest for 20 to 25 minutes before carving. After you carve the turkey, ladle on some of the broth/sauce rendered from turkey that's in the bottom of the pan.

Chef Notes

If you have the time, I would suggest preparing the adobo sauce the day before you use it. Doing so gives the sauce a chance to really develop all of the flavors.

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