This post is sponsored by Rioja Wine. As always, the opinions shared here are my own. The holiday season is here and I’m trying something new. I thought I would bring to you a Spanish spiced turkey. It’s brined and perfectly seasoned with a sweet and salty mix. I stuffed the turkey with apricots, prunes and pine nuts and garnished the outside of it with carrots and onions. This turkey is so juicy and flavorful, it’s will definitely be a hit at your Thanksgiving table.
On special occasions such as holidays, I like to get a glass of wine to go with my meal. I just picked up some rioja wine to pair with my turkey. This wine has a fresh, fruity notes without being too heavy. The thing I love the most about it is that I don’t have to worry about it breaking the bank. It’s nice to be able to take a bottle of wine to a holiday dinner or buy it for your own dinner without worrying about spending too much on it.
I couldn’t help but giggle this morning. My husband said to me that being married to a food blogger is an unique experience because I jumped out of bed at 6:30 this morning. He asked what I was doing since I never get out of bed that early unless Lucian is nagging me or for something special. Normally, it’s a little after 7 that I can gather my wits and roll out of bed. Not today! I mumbled that I needed to get my turkey ready and stumbled down the stairs.
That’s exactly what I did too. Then.. I apparently filled the house with the smell of garlic and onions and it must have stuck to all of our clothes. As I was dropping him off at work, he was giving me the business about how he smelled and my driving but that’s a whole different story.
Spanish Spiced Turkey
- 1 12 lb . turkey thawed
- 5 quarts water 20 cups
- 1 cup salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 5 Carrots peeled
- 3 medium onions
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 Cups orange juice
- 1 small yellow onion
- 4 cloves of garlic
- dash of salt
- 1 T . honey
- 4 cups chicken or turkey stock
- 1 cup dried prunes
- 2 oz . pine nuts toasted
- 6 oz . dried apricots
- 1/2 tsp . fennel seed
- 1/2 tsp . cumin seed
- 1/4 tsp . smoked spanish paprika
- 1/4 tsp . ground white pepper
- 1 tsp . mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp . chili flakes
- 1/4 tsp salt
- In a saucepan, add in 4 cups of the water, sugar and salt. Bring up to a boil and stir occasionally.
- Pour the brine into the 16 cups of cold water. Immerse turkey in the brine for about an hour or until the basting liquid is finished.
- While the turkey is brining, cut each carrot into three pieces. Cut the two largest sections of the carrot in half. Set aside.
- Cut the onions into 8 sections as you would an apple. Set aside.
- In a fry pan with at least a 2 inch side, saute onions and garlic until soft and fragrant.
- Add orange juice and stock in with the onions and garlic. Reduce the orange juice by a third.
- Add the honey and salt and stir until incorporated.
- In a large bowl, add in the dried prunes and apricots.
- Place a fine mesh strainer on top of the bowl with the prunes and apricots. Pour the juice into the strainer and discarding the onion and garlic. Let the fruit soak for about 10 minutes until soft.
- Strain fruit with the same fine mesh strainer. Be sure to reserve the liquid for basting.
- Stir the toasted pine nuts in with the softened prunes and apricots.
- Using cheesecloth and string, wrap and tie the prunes, apricots and pine nuts into a bundle.
- Place the turkey into the roasting pan and place the little package of fruit inside the turkey.
- In a small bowl, combine the fennel, cumin, paprika, pepper, mustard seeds, chili flakes and salt.
- Rub the turkey with the spices.
- Add the carrots, onions and fresh thyme around the turkey.
- Cover the turkey with tin foil and roast at 325 degrees for about 2 hours and 30 minutes. Remove the tin foil and let the turkey brown up for the last hour. You'll be cooking this turkey for 3 hours and 30 minutes, basting occasionally with the strained orange sauce.
- When serving, remove the cheesecloth insert and arrange its contents around the turkey with the carrots and onions. Garnish with fresh thyme.