Drunken turkey with Mexican dried fruit stuffing: Pavo borracho con frutas secas

articles Food & Cuisine Recipes

Karen Hursh Graber

Mexican Kitchen

This succulent, festive drunken turkey with dried fruit stuffing is taken over the top with the addition of Grand Marnier and tequila. I have seen it in several places, including a recipe from Mexican restaurant owner and cookbook author Zarela Martinez. This is my own version, but feel free to tweak it. I suggest starting with the smaller amount of chiles, then adding more to taste if desired. Many versions of this recipe call for it to be cooked in an “oven bag,” but I do not use them and just roast the turkey as usual — tented with foil, then uncovered to crisp the skin. Many years before basting syringes were sold anywhere, we just went to the farmacia and bought a hypodermic syringe and needle.


  • 1 12- to 14-pound turkey
  • 6 ounces each dried apricots, peaches, pears, raisins and prunes
  • 4 tart apples, cut into 1-inch wedges
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • ½ to 1 can chipotle chiles in adobo, with the sauce that clings to them
  • 2 cups reposado tequila (do not use white or “silver”)
  • 2 cups Grand Marnier
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces each, softened
  • Turkey broth as needed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Wash and dry the turkey. Season with salt and pepper inside and out. Set aside while you make the stuffing.

Place the dried fruit and the apple wedges in a bowl. Combine the orange juice, chiles, 1 cup tequila and 1 cup Grand Marnier in a blender and liquefy. Pour the liquid over the dried fruit and apple mixture. Stir and let mixture rest 15 minutes.

Strain the fruit, reserving the liquid. Combine the fruit with half the butter and stuff about ¾ of the mixture into the bird. Place the turkey in a roasting pan, tie the legs together, tuck the wings under the bird, and place the remaining fruit around it. Pour the remaining orange juice mixture over all.

Combine the remaining tequila and Grand Marnier, and inject the turkey in several places with this mixture. Melt remaining butter and brush it all over the outside of the turkey.

Tent the turkey with foil. Roast for 2 ½ hours, or until an instant read thermometer registers 165 degrees F at the innermost part of the thigh. From time to time, add turkey broth as needed to keep the bottom of the pan moist and to keep the fruit from sticking.

Let the turkey rest for 15 to 20 minutes before carving, remove fruit stuffing and serve it in a separate bowl. Slice turkey, place it on a platter, and pour pan juices over sliced turkey. Serves 12, plus leftovers.

Link to source article
Sweet and savory: Using Mexican dried fruit

Published or Updated on: November 6, 2013 by Karen Hursh Graber © 2013
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