This gluten free Achiote Butter Basted Turkey is the star of my Southwestern inspired turkey dinner. The ancho-chile gravy and cornbread-sausage stuffing are all stand out recipes worth repeating every year.
Thinking Outside the Box for Turkey Dinner
Remember Opposite Day? If you're in the United States why not host an annual Canadian Thanksgiving in October. For Canadians do the opposite, an American Thanksgiving in November. The perfect opportunity to have a turkey dinner your way.
If you love turkey don't limit yourself to Thanksgiving and Christmas. Host a complete turkey dinner with all the trimmings for a fancy New Year's party, a winter birthday or even Christmas in July.
Is Naming Your Turkey a Tradition
Naming our turkey is a fun tradition that our family has been doing for years. This turkey was Frieda and of course there's a story that goes with that.
I got the idea from someone beside me at a store who was looking for a gift that started with the letter F. They used the format of following the alphabet for their annual family gift exchange.
We took that idea and started our gift exchange with gifts beginning with the letter A. We also decided to name all of our turkeys (Thanksgiving and Christmas) with the same letter. We've been doing this ever since and have lots of fun with it.
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What is Achiote Paste?
Achiote paste is a seasoning made from annato seeds. It gives a unique, earthy flavour to many dishes from Mexico and the American southwest. Mix it with butter and rub on any chicken recipe to experience the distinct taste.
I rub the entire turkey with a mixture of achiote paste and butter that give it a bright orange hue. Before you commit to a whole turkey recipe try it in this recipe for achiote chicken, that's how I fell in love with this ingredient used in Southwestern cuisine.
Best Kitchen Tools for Cooking Turkey
Cooking a turkey dinner is a lot of work and it requires some equipment. You can make a point of using these items throughout the year but you definitely want them when you're hosting a turkey dinner.
- This moderately priced turkey roasting pan that has lasted me almost ten years.
- A high end turkey roasting pan would be good for serious turkey families.
- A stainless steel turkey baster will last a lifetime
- I use this gravy separator and actually saved the instructions to refer to because I use it so rarely.
- My mom always says you can't overcook a turkey, but you definitely need an instant read meat thermometer so you don't undercook it.
Menu for a Gluten Free Turkey Dinner
- Cornbread Chorizo Stuffing or Cornbread Sausage Stuffing Balls
- Mashed Potatoes with Ancho Chile Gravy or Scalloped White and Sweet Potatoes
- Cranberry Orange and Cilantro Salsa
- Roasted Root Vegetables
- Pumpkin Pie
Do you name your turkey? Will you try this Achiote Butter Basted Turkey or maybe a chicken? Let me know in the comments below.
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Achiote Butter Basted Turkey
- 15-20 lb turkey
- 3 tablespoon achiote paste
- ¾ cup butter, room temperature
- 2 onions, quartered
- 2 carrots, cut in half
- 2 celery stalks, cut in half
- 4-6 cups gluten free chicken stock
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Mix butter and achiote paste together. This can be done the night before and left at room temperature.
- Remove the turkey from the fridge for 1-2 hours before starting. Wearing gloves, rub the achiote butter over the entire turkey. The butter will quickly harden on the cold turkey so microwave the remaining butter for 10 seconds if needed. You can also put the turkey in the oven for 5-10 minutes after the butter is on it, uncovered, to help the butter melt. Remove the turkey from the oven and finish spreading the butter with your hands or a silicone brush.
- Place turkey on a rack in a turkey roasting pan. Tuck wings under the turkey. Using kitchen string tie the legs together to help hold its' shape.
- Pour 2 cups of chicken stock in the bottom of the pan. Add the onion, carrot and celery to the pan.
- Cover with foil and roast in preheated oven until it reaches 160°F on a meat thermometer. A general guide is 15-20 minutes per pound.
- Check the turkey every hour and baste it with the juices in the bottom of the roaster. Add the more chicken stock as needed.
- If not nicely browned remove the foil for the last hour of the cooking time.
- Transfer turkey from roasting pan to large baking tray with an edge to contain the juices. Cover well with foil and then a towel, let rest for 45-60 minutes before carving.
- Meanwhile make Ancho Chile Gravy using the juices from the roasting pan.
- Carve turkey, arrange on a platter and serve. Garnish with fresh cilantro and whole cranberries just before serving.