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Annatto Spiced Grilled Turkey


Annatto Spiced Grilled Turkey is a great Indian spiced turkey for Thanksgiving or any feast! For a stronger flavor, marinade in the fridge over night!

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  • 1 (10- to 12-pound) turkey
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 dried ancho chili peppers
  • 1 tablespoon annatto seeds
  • 1 tablespoon dried marjoram
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing


Servings 8
Preparation time 20mins
Cooking time 200mins


Step 1

Wash turkey and pat dry, inside and out. Season turkey, inside and out, w/salt and pepper.

Combine chili peppers, annatto seeds and 1 cup of water in small saucepan and bring to a boil over med-hi heat. Let cook, uncovered until chiles have softened and all liquid is absorbed, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer chiles and seeds to a food processor or blender and add marjoram, OJ, lime juice, garlic, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Process until smooth. Pour marinade into strainer set over medium size bowl.

Loosen skin and put some of the marinade b/t the skin and flesh of the turkey. Spoon a few tbs of marinade into body cavity of turkey and tbs into neck cavity. Brush outside of bird w/olive oil and remainder of marinade. Place turkey in roasting pan and cover loosely w/foil. Marinate for 4 hours.

Set up grill for indirect grilling. Place wood chips in smoker box and preheat the grill to hi; when smoke appears, reduce heat to medium.

Bush and oil grate. Cover and grill turkey until juices run clear when tip of skewer or sharp knife is inserted in thickest part of thigh and legs wiggle freely in joint, 2 ½ to 3 hours. Should register, w/o touching bone, at 170°F.

If using turkey breast - set up indirect grilling; keep at 300 to 350°F. For a 7 pound breast, plan on 2 hours grilling time.

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