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Armadillo Turkey


This recipe is called Armadillo Turkey because of the pineapple skin, with its spiky points resembling an armadillo

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  • 1 fresh turkey (12 to 15 pounds)
  • 1 lime, halved
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 large pineapple
  • 1 1/2 cups canned pineapple juice


Preparation time 20mins
Cooking time 260mins


Step 1

1. Preheat the oven to 325F
2. Rinse the turkey well, inside and out, until the water runs clear. Pat it thoroughly dry, squeeze the lime in the cavity of the turkey, to season it. Sprinkle the cavity with salt and pepper, and place the squeezed lime halves and the onion in the cavity.
3. Truss the turkey, and place it in a roasting pan large enough to hold it without crowding.
4. Scrub the pineapple well with a brush under hot water. Slice off the top of the pineapple, and set it aside. Remove the skin from the pineapple in four equal pieces, cutting it from top to bottom with a stainless steel knife. Leave 1/4 inch of the pulp on two pieces of the skin. Set aside those two pieces and the fruit (for a Pineapple Salad). Discard the extra skin pieces.
5. Pour 1/2 cup of the pineapple juice over the turkey, and place the turkey in the center of the oven. Roast until it is a deep golden brown, the thigh is tender when pressed, and the leg joints move easily up and down in their sockets, which should take 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Baste the turkey every 30 minutes, using 1/2 cup pineapple juice each time until it is gone, then using the accumulated juices and fats in the bottom of the pan. One hour before the turkey is done, place the two pieces of pineapple skin on the breast meat, completely covering it. Secure them in place with small metal skewers. Continue basting the turkey, pouring the basting liquid over the pineapple skin.
6. Remove the turkey from the oven and the roasting pan, and let it rest for at least 30 minutes, or as long as 45 minutes, before serving. While it is resting, turn the turkey over so that it is resting on its breast. Prop the legs so they are slightly higher than the breast, allowing the juices to run back into the breast meat. Reduce the cooking juices slightly over medium high heat, about 2 minutes, scraping up any brown bits. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Strain and pour into a gravy boat.
7. To carve the turkey, remove and discard the pineapple skins. Place the carved turkey on a heated platter. Arrange the top of the pineapple at the foot of the turnkey, for garnish. Serve with the gravy and a Pineapple Salad.

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