70.5 F
Mérida
Sunday, December 5, 2021
###

Pavo pibil: Yucatán-style roast turkey is full of flavor

Latest headlines

After kicking off the ‘Mayan ball game’ World Cup in Mérida, Belize takes the trophy

Mérida has kicked off an international Pok ta Pok tournament, also known as the "Mayan ball game" World Cup. 

We got a robot artist to paint Yucatán, here are the results

One could be forgiven for brushing off AI art as a fad, but sometimes these technologies deliver some very interesting results.

Festivities celebrating the Virgin of Guadalupe to be scaled back once again

For the second year in a row, Yucatan's Catholic archdiocese is urging its faithful to not assist to large events commemorating the day of the Virgin of Guadalupe on Dec. 12. 

New York artist finds an unlikely muse in rural Yucatán

Lohin's artistic subject matter ranges from portraits to landscapes and renderings of her favorite model — a donkey named Camila.
Joanna van der Gracht de Rosado
Joanna van der Gracht de Rosado is a writer, artist and educator from British Columbia, Canada. She has lived in Merida, Yucatan, since 1976, where she co-founded the TTT school and raised two children. Joanna blogs at Changes In Our Lives.
Pavo pibil is full of flavor. Photo: Carlos van der Gracht de Rosado

Roast turkey in Yucatán — pavo pibil — is full with flavor because it’s filled with citrus and onion, smothered with achiote sauce and wrapped with banana leaves.

But plan ahead. You need to start your preparation one day before serving the turkey. This recipe works best if you have a 14-16 lb. bird.

Remove giblets and neck (usually packed inside the turkey cavity). Also, remove any bits of innards still stuck in there. Rinse the turkey and pat it dry with paper towels. Set the bird in a large container (cavity side facing down). Set to one side.

Next, make the pibil-style marinade

For the marinade:
• 1 cup of sour orange juice (If you can’t get sour orange, substitute 1/2 cup orange juice combined with 1/2 cup lime juice)
• 1 3-ounce package achiote paste
• 2 tsp oregano (coarsely ground)
• 1 tsp cumin (ground)
• 4 cloves (whole)
• 1 tsp black peppercorns (coarsely ground)
• 1 tsp cinnamon (ground)
• 10 garlic cloves (whole)
• 1/2 white onion (chopped)
• 2 tsp salt

Put all the marinade ingredients into the blender bowl, and process until absolutely smooth. It should have a ruby-red color, a flavorful, but not piquant taste.

Strain the sauce to ensure it’s perfectly smooth and set aside.

Turn the turkey over, shake out any remaining fluid and pat dry again. Put the turkey back in the large bowl (cavity side up) and drench it with the marinade, inside and out. Cover loosely with a cloth and leave it, overnight, in the fridge. Note: The turkey will absorb the flavor of the marinade better if you baste it a couple of times.

The next day

For roasting the turkey:
• 1 stick butter
• 3 oranges, quartered
• 3 limes, quartered
• 8 garlic cloves (whole)
• 1 white onion (cut into 12 pieces)

Remove the turkey from the fridge. Let it remain at room temperature for 1 hour, then baste it one final time. Fill the cavity with orange wedges, lime wedges, onion and garlic pieces. Put it (cavity side up) into the preheated oven. For extra-juicy meat and crispy skin, insert pats of butter in between the skin and flesh of the bird

Note: Traditionally, this recipe calls for wrapping the bird in banana leaves, which are easy to find in Yucatán, but not everywhere else. Don’t worry if you don’t have access to them, you can cover the bird with parchment paper. Your turkey will have plenty of flavor either way.

The oven temperature should be 325 F / 160 C. Roast the turkey until the internal temperature is 180 degrees F.

Cooking times
• 8 to 12 pounds: 3 to 3 1/2 hours
• 12 to 14 pounds: 3 1/2 to 4 hours
• 14 to 18 pounds: 4 to 4 1/4 hours
• 18 to 20 pounds: 4 1/4 to 4 3/4 hours
• 20 to 24 pounds: 4 3/4 to 5 1/4 hours

When the turkey is fully cooked, take it out of the oven. Remove all the cooked vegetables from the turkey cavity and discard them.

While the turkey is roasting, you’ll have plenty of time to prepare the accompanying side dishes, starting with the vegetable platter.

Vegetables Platter
Ingredients:
4 boiled potatoes, 2 boiled beets, 2 boiled carrots (cut in thick wedges)
3 raw Roma tomatoes, 1 small cucumber, 1 avocado (cut in thick slices)
Arrange one head of Romaine lettuce leaves around the perimeter of the serving platter. Distribute the cooked and raw vegetables on top. Sprinkle the filled platter with a small amount of vinaigrette. Set the cooked turkey down in the middle of the platter. Surrounded by the colorful vegetables, the bird will look very appetizing.
The other suggested side dishes are all easy to prepare:

Pasta with Salsa Verde
Unlike most pasta dishes, this can be prepped well ahead of time. Cook one pound of spaghetti until it is al dente. Toss it with one cup of canned or bottled salsa verde. Just before you take all the dishes to the serving table, reheat the pasta in the microwave for one minute, and fold in one cup of fresh cream. Garnish with radish slices.

Refried Black Beans
Saute ½ white onion in a skillet with a small amount of oil. When the onions are translucent, add 1 can of black beans (refritos), diluted with ½ can of water. Stir well and allow the mixture to reduce down to the desired consistency.

Pan de Elote (Corn Bread)
You can purchase this at any traditional Yucatecan bakery. Pre-order it if you don’t usually see it on the shelves.

Pickled Onions
This garnish is indispensable. You can buy a jar or make it yourself. One red and one white onion, cut in halves, then into wide slices. Boil them until tender in: One cup of white vinegar, 3/4 cup of water, 1 tsp salt, 2 T sugar, ½ tsp black pepper. 2 laurel leaves, 2 whole cloves, 1 T crushed oregano. When cooked, remove the laurel leaves and any other large bits of herbs. Put the hot onions into a bowl with enough liquid to fully cover them. Put a 2-inch by 2-inch piece of raw beet in with the onions to turn them a pinkish color.

¡Buen provecho!

- Advertisement -

Subscriptions make great gifts

More articles

International TlaquepArte handicrafts show returns to Mérida

Expo TlaquepArte returns to Mérida on Friday. Photo: Courtesy With the 200 exhibitors from 16 countries, the 113th...

A big win for Yucatán, the newest member of the World Tourism Organization

A campaign to further boost the state’s economy has paid off. Yucatán has been granted membership in the elite World Tourism Organization.

New petition seeks intangible cultural heritage status for Mayan language

“The importance of the language can be observed from the perspective of its psycho-emotional value or potential", says Cocom Bolio. “Language also creates a sense of identity and belonging; and, at the same time, a tradition or way of life.”

Yucatán’s congress declares high-speed Internet access a human right

Yucatán’s congress has passed a bill making Internet access a human right. 

Wonders of the land: Organic food production in Yucatán

Organic food production is a somewhat newer trend in agricultural ventures, as it promotes a friendlier environmental process, and is overall said to be healthier for consumers. 

US ambassador joins governors of Mexico’s southeast for bilateral summit in Mérida

The US ambassador to Mexico, Ken Salazar, joined the governors of Mexico's southeastern states for an official bilateral summit in Mérida.

Villa Navidad to benefit a trio of charities for the holidays

Villa Navidad is a weekend-long holiday event Dec. 4-5 to collect donations for three local charities.

2 Cuban migrants die in shipwreck off Yucatán coast

Unofficial reports claim that Mexican authorities helped 19 people to disembark the badly damaged ship.

Angels: What makes Adele Aguirre’s new art exhibit at SoHo Galleries so moving

Adele Aguirre's "Angels" exhibit at SoHo Galleries responds to a personal crisis, but will be cathartic to everyone suffering loss. ...

Frustrated animal rights activists blockade Mérida shelter

The protestors set up camp outside of the facility and took to laying on mats and pieces of cardboard to demonstrate their commitment to settling the issue without violence.