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Print this Recipe    Yucatan Turkey Pibil

Recipe By: Birds of a Different Feather, LA Times 11.16.95
Serving Size: 10

1 c achiote paste
1 tbsp salt
1/2 c lime juice (about 6 limes)
1/2 c orange juice
2 tbsps oil
1 (10 lb) turkey, giblets removed thawed
3 banana leaves, center ribs torn away
salt and pepper
3 lg white onions sliced
4 lg tomatoes sliced
3 sprigs epazote or 6 sprigs cilantro
1 habanero or 6 serranos

Combine achiote paste, salt, lime juice, orange juice and oil in a small
bowl. Spread mixture over entire turkey. Line roasting pan with banana
leaves (leaves can hang over side), reserving enough to cover the top.

Remove the neck and giblets from turkey. Wash turkey well and then pat
dry and season inside and out with salt and pepper. Place turkey, breast
side up, over leaves. Spread sliced onions and tomatoes over top of
turkey. Scatter epazote over top. Nestle chile on top of turkey. Cover
turkey with banana leaves, tucking them in to seal. Cover pan tightly
with lid or foil. Roast at 325 degrees, basting often, until nicely
browned and thermometer inserted into the deepest part of thigh reads 180
degrees, about 15 minutes per pound.

Remove turkey from oven and let rest, uncovered, 15 to 30 minutes.
Remove and discard banana leaves and chile. Place turkey on platter.
Puree cooked onions and tomatoes with hand blender in cooking juices to
thicken sauce.

Notes: In the Yucatan turkey is as common as chicken and one of the most
delicious ways of cooking it there is in a backyard pib or pit, smeared
with seasoning paste and wrapped in banana leaves. The bird will turn red
from the achiote paste and tender from cooking in the leaves. The recipe
is adapted from one Nancy Zaslavsky (Cook's Tour of Mexico) got from her
friend, Rosario Chavez in Espita, Yucatan. You may use purchased achiote
paste or make your own.

teresa@lamg.com

email: tamale@primenet.com

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