Every year I try to make a different style of Turkey. This year I came across this great blog post This is a great story of a Mexican lady that brought her traditions to the North American feast. I was sold and decided to try this for myself. The marinade itself is amazing, it’s not just great for this Turkey recipe, but you can use it to marinate a Beef roast, Chicken or Seafood.

This year I invited my cousins over for Thanksgiving. My father was also visiting from India and he got to enjoy this divine bird with us!

En Chile Rojo – Mexican Turkey

3.12 from 34 votes


  • 7 kg Turkey 15 .5 lbs approx


  • 4 litres warm Water
  • 1/2 cup Salt
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp Mexican Chilli powder

Chile paste

  • 8 dried chiles de arbol
  • 20 dried New Mexico chiles
  • 8 cloves Garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground Cloves
  • 8 crackers
  • 1/2 – 1 cup chilli water
  • 2 tsps Salt
  • Turkey neck & Offal
  • Some sliced Onions Celery and Carrots
  • Sprig of Oregano


  • Wash the Turkey and reserve anything in the cavity
  • Prepare a brine by dissolving the Salt and Sugar into the warm water and add in the Cinnamon and Mexican Chilli powder and leave aside to cool
  • Once the brine is cool pour it over the bagged Turkey and chill in the fridge for 24 hours
  • After 24 hours drain all the brine and allow the Turkey to dry
  • Destem the Chiles and cut the bigger chiles in half
  • Pour hot water over the chiles and allow to soak for a minimum of 30 mins to overnight
  • Pick out the softened chiles and add to the food processor
  • Add the Garlic, Cumin & Clove powder
  • Add the crackers
  • Add about 1/2 cup of the Chile water and processor
  • Add more Chile water and process till smooth
  • Spread a few tbsps of the paste on the backside of the Turkey, then flip the bird over and add a few more tbsps on top
  • Add the Turkey neck, Offal and the Vegetables
  • Bake for 4 hrs in a 350 degree oven, for the first hour covered and then uncovered
  • Take it out periodically and add layers of the Chile paste while basting in the Turkey juices in between
  • In the last hour, stuff a sprig of Oregano into the cavity