Annatto-Spiced Grilled Turkey

Serves: 10
Total Calories: 54


1 turkey (10 to 12 pounds)
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 cascabel chiles or 2 small dried hot red peppers
1 tablespoon annatto seeds
1 cup water
1 bunch marjoram, fresh or 1 tablespoon dried
2 cups orange juice, fresh
3 tablespoons lime juice, fresh
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin, ground
1 tablespoon olive oil, for brushing


1. Remove and discard the fat from just inside the body cavities of the turkey. Remove the package of giblets and set aside for another use. Rinse the turkey, inside and out, under cold running water, then drain and blot dry, inside and out, with paper towels. Season the turkey inside and out with salt and pepper cover and refrigerate while you prepare the marinade.

2. Combine the cascabel chiles, annatto seeds, and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, uncovered, until the chiles have softened and all liquid has been absorbed, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer the chiles and annatto seeds to a blender and add the marjoram, orange juice, lime juice, garlic, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Process until smooth. Pour the mixture into a strainer set over a medium-size bowl and press it through with a wooden spoon. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as necessary the mixture should be highly seasoned.

3. If you wish to put some of the marinade between the skin and flesh of the turkey, follow the directions in the box on page 243 for loosening the skin.

4. Spoon a few tablespoons of the marinade into the body cavity of the turkey and a tablespoon into the neck cavity. Brush the outside of the bird with additional marinade, liberally if you didn’t put in under the skin, and a little oil. Place the turkey in a roasting pan and cover loosely with plastic wrap.

Let marinate, in the refrigerator, for 4 hours.

5. Set up the grill for indirect grilling, placing a large drip pan in the center. If using a charcoal grill, preheat it to medium.

If using a gas grill, place as many of the wood chips as possible in the smoker box and preheat the grill to high then, when smoke appears, lower the heat to medium.

6. When ready to cook, if using charcoal, toss 1 cup of the wood chips on the coals. Oil the grill grate. Remove the turkey from the roasting pan and place on the hot grate over the drip pan. Cover the grill and cook until the juices run clear when the tip of a skewer or sharp knife is inserted in the thickest part of a thigh and the legs wiggle freely in the joint (see Note), about 3 hours (figuring on 15 to 20 minutes per pound). If using charcoal, add 10 to 12 fresh coals and 1/2 cup wood chips per side every hour.

7. Transfer the turkey to a cutting board or platter and let stand, loosely covered with aluminum foil, for 15 minutes before carving.

Serves 10 to 12

Note: An instant-read thermometer inserted in the inner muscle of a thigh, not touching the bone, should register 180°F.

Nutritional Facts:

Serves: 10
Total Calories: 54
Calories from Fat: 22

This Annatto-Spiced Grilled Turkey recipe is from the The Barbecue Bible Cookbook. Download this Cookbook today.

More Recipes from the The Barbecue Bible Cookbook:
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Afghan-Style Game Hens
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Annatto-Spiced Grilled Turkey
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Bahamian Grilled Chicken
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Brazilian Beer Chicken
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Grilled Game Hens With Moroccan Spices
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Malaysian Chicken Sates
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