Pavo Salvadoreño (Salvadoran Roast Turkey With Sauce)

READY IN: 3hrs 30mins
SERVES: 8-10




  • The day before roasting the turkey, remove and reserve the giblets and wash the turkey well with cold water. Pat it dry with paper towels and tuck the wings under the body to keep them from burning. Season the inside and outside of the bird with salt and pepper.
  • Mix the mustard and Worcestershire sauce together in a bowl, and spread the mixture liberally all over the outside of the turkey. Refrigerate uncovered overnight.
  • Remove the turkey from the refrigerator about 45 minutes before you put it in the oven to let it come to room temperature.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Set the turkey, breast side down, on a rack in a roasting pan.
  • Place the roasting pan in the lowest rack of the oven and roast the turkey for about 1 hour.
  • Remove the roasting pan from the oven. Carefully turn the turkey over so it is breast side up.
  • Add the tomatoes, onions, peppers, carrots, prunes, olives, capers, garlic, and the wine or water to the roasting pan around the turkey.
  • Return the pan to the oven and roast for another 1 1/2 to 2 hours, basting the turkey periodically with any juices that form in the pan.
  • The turkey is done when the temperature in the thickest part of the thigh measures between 165°F and 175°F (use a meat thermometer). If the breast begins to brown too much, cover it loosely with foil.
  • Remove the turkey to a cutting board or baking sheet. Tent with foil and let it rest while you finish the sauce.
  • Sauce:
  • Remove any excess fat from the roasting pan. Add the turkey giblets (except for the liver) and the ingredients and juices from the roasting pan to a blender or food processor and puree.
  • Add the puree to a large saucepan along with the 3 cups of water or stock Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until lightly thickened Strain through a sieve, discarding any solids.
  • Return the strained sauce to the saucepan, reheat and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  • Once the turkey has cooled somewhat, slice and serve with the warm sauce.
  • *Variations.
  • Relajo Spice Mixture: Many Salvadoran cooks add a mixture of spices, peppers and seeds called a relajo to their sauce. If you use a relajo, you can omit the giblets from the sauce.
  • â—¦1/3 cup sesame seeds.
  • â—¦1/4 cup unsalted peanuts.
  • â—¦1/4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas).
  • â—¦1 chile guaque or other dried chile, destemmed and deseeded.
  • â—¦10 bay leaves.
  • â—¦2 teaspoons dred thyme, or 1 sprig fresh.
  • Add the spice mixture when you add the vegetables to the roasting pan. Puree and strain the sauce as directed above.