Peruvian-spiced Christmas turkey
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Recipe: Peruvian-spiced Christmas turkey

This is my version of the roasted turkey we had every Christmas back home. I used to marinate it with a pre-made spice mix, stout, and Coke (I know…). A while ago I tested a recipe for charcoal chicken and I thought “this tastes like Christmas turkey”, so I tweaked the recipe and the result was very damn close.

Peruvian-spiced Christmas turkey

Peruvian-spiced Christmas turkey

This recipe requires brining the turkey for 24 hours, so plan ahead.
Prep Time 13 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Brining time 1 day


  • 1 small turkey (~4 kg)


  • 4 litres water
  • 1 cup coarse rock salt


  • 1 tbsp rosemary
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup pisco substitute grappa or brandy
  • 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp ají panca paste substitute any red chili paste


  • 3 tbsp butter


  • Prepare the brine by mixing the salt and water in a large container. Rinse the turkey, place it in the container making sure it's covered by the brine, and place in refrigerator for 24 hours.
  • When ready to cook, preheat oven to 180°C.
  • Mix the marinade ingredients in a blender or food processor.
  • Rinse turkey and pat-dry. Rub with marinade and put it in a deep tray, breast side down.
  • Top with dollops of butter and place in the oven. Cook for approximately 70 minutes, basting with the liquid every half an hour.
  • Turn the turkey breast side up and cook for another 70 minutes, basting with the liquid every half an hour.
  • Turn off oven, let turkey sit for 15 minutes or so. Then take it out and cover with foil. Let rest for 15 minutes before carving.
  • Enjoy with applesauce and your favourite salad.

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