An Excellent Recipe to Follow to Make Scrumptious Pavochon

Every Thanksgiving is a time for the family to get together, give thanks, and share a grand meal. Pavochon is the centerpiece for a classic Thanksgiving dinner in Puerto Rico and this easy-to-follow recipe makes sure that all the iconic flavors come out just right!

A Thanksgiving fall arrangement
The Ingredients Needed for This Meal

Pavochon can be served with cornbread and any classic sides. Achiote paste is crucial for bringing out the rich flavor and achieving the deep color of the turkey. Here are the necessary ingredients:

  • One 12lb turkey without the giblets and neck
  • One lemon halved
  • Three tablespoons of unsalted butter at room temperature
  • ¼ cup of extra-virgin olive oil
  • Three tablespoons of achiote paste
  • Two tablespoons of dry oregano
  • Two tablespoons of granulated garlic
  • One large onion halved
  • Five cloves of garlic
  • Two teaspoons of ground cumin
  • Two celery stalks
  • Salt and pepper

a Thanksgiving turkey

The Steps to Prepare Excellent Pavochon

To prepare Pavochon, we start by gently separating the skin from the flesh, starting at the neck. The outside of the turkey is rubbed with the cut sides of the lemon. It is then seasoned generously inside and out with salt and pepper. Butter is rubbed on the breast meat underneath the skin.

The next step is to mix the oil, achiote paste, cumin, granulated garlic, and oregano in a bowl until it forms a paste. An even layer of this paste is then spread on the turkey, and the legs are tied using bakable string. The seasoned turkey is left to rest at room temperature for two hours.

The oven is preheated to 450. The turkey is stuffed with onion, garlic, celery, and the reserved lemon. It is then placed on a wire rack inside the roasting pan and the pan is filled with 1½ cups of water. Bake the turkey for 25-30 minutes and rotate if the browning is uneven. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 and continue to bake for another hour and a half, basting the turkey with pan juices every 30 minutes. Let the turkey rest on the cutting board for 30 minutes before carving.