The New Mexico state question is "Red or Green?"—that is, which color chile do you like? Chef Jonathan Perno, considered a key interpreter of New Mexican cuisine, tempers the red chile sauce with orange juice to glaze the bird. He calls for a spatchcocked or butterflied turkey, which cooks more quickly and evenly. Ask your butcher to do it for you to save time.

EatingWell Magazine, November 2020


Recipe Summary

1 hr 15 mins
8 hrs
12 hrs

Nutrition Profile:



Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Combine parsley, thyme, garlic, 2 teaspoons salt, pepper, fennel seeds and crushed red pepper in a food processor. Pulse until almost smooth.

  • Trim any excess fat from turkey. Put the neck, heart and giblets in a medium bowl. (Discard the liver or save for another use.) Using heavy-duty kitchen or poultry shears, cut the turkey down one side of the backbone, through the ribs. Make an identical cut on the opposite side to remove the backbone; add the backbone to the bowl with the giblets. Place the turkey, breast-side up, on a cutting board and flatten with the heel of your hand (you'll have to press hard!). Splay the thighs outward and tuck the wings under. Place the turkey on a large rimmed baking sheet and pat dry with paper towels. Loosen the skin over the breast and thighs; rub the herb mixture under the skin. Cover the turkey and the bowl of giblets with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Transfer the turkey to a roasting pan and let stand at room temperature while the oven heats.

  • Roast the turkey for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325°. Pour orange juice around the turkey and continue to roast, basting occasionally with pan juices, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the breast registers 155°F, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Brush chile sauce over the turkey and roast until the thermometer registers 165°F (without touching bone), about 30 minutes more.

  • Meanwhile, place the reserved giblets and backbone in a large pot and add onion, carrot, celery and bay leaves; pour in water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cook, skimming off any foam, for 1 hour. Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl; discard solids. Measure out 2 cups for making gravy and reserve the remaining stock for another use.

  • Transfer the turkey to a clean cutting board. Let rest for 20 minutes.

  • Carefully pour the pan drippings into a fat separator. Pour the fat back into the roasting pan (leaving the defatted drippings behind). Place the pan over two burners and heat over medium heat. Sprinkle in flour and whisk until thick, about 10 seconds. Whisking constantly, slowly add the defatted drippings to the pan. Gradually whisk in as much of the reserved 2 cups stock as needed to reach your ideal gravy consistency. Season the gravy with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Carve the turkey and serve with the gravy.

Associated Recipe


Heavy-duty kitchen or poultry shears, fat separator

Nutrition Facts

3 oz. turkey & 2 Tbsp. gravy, plus leftovers
164 calories; fat 4g; cholesterol 88mg; sodium 361mg; carbohydrates 5g; dietary fiber 0.5g; protein 26g; sugars 1g; niacin equivalents 8mg; saturated fat 1g; vitamin a iu 2347IU.