Cumin-and-Oregano Rubbed Turkey with Chorizo-and Cornbread Stuffing


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This elaborate turkey dish is worthy of your Thanksgiving table or any other special occasion.  This elaborate turkey dish is worthy of your Thanksgiving table or any other special occasion. 

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  • 16 lb. turkey, fresh or defrosted
  • 3-4 C. Cornbread Stuffing (recipe follows)
  • Kitchen string
  • Cumin Rub (recipe follows)
  • 1 1/2 C. (3 sticks) unsalted butter

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Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the plastic piece from the legs of the turkey, if necessary, and the gizzard package and neck from the cavity. Rinse the turkey inside and out with very cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Loosely stuff the turkey with the stuffing. Pull the legs together so that they overlap. Use the kitchen string to tie the legs together. Spoon any leftover cornbread stuffing into a buttered ovenproof casserole dish. Bake in a 350-degree oven, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes, or until crispy and golden brown.

Using your hands, gently rub about 1/2-3/4 of the cumin rub over the exterior of the turkey, working it lightly into the skin. Reserve the remaining rub for basting the turkey during roasting. Place the turkey on a rack in a large roasting pan. Roast uncovered for 30 minutes until the skin starts to brown, then cover with aluminum foil.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt the 3 sticks of butter over medium heat. Stir in the remaining rub. Set aside, covered, to keep warm. Use a pastry brush to baste the turkey with the seasoned butter every 30 minutes during roasting. Reduce the heat to 325 degrees and roast the turkey for about 4 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when the meat is pricked, the leg joints feel loose, and a meat thermometer registers 180 degrees when inserted in the thickest part of the thigh. Check the stuffing: the thermometer should register 165 degrees when inserted into the center of the stuffing.

Cumin Rub


1/2 C. (1 stick) unsalted butter

2 Tbs. cumin

5 Tbs. dried oregano

3 Tbs. smoked paprika (hot)

2 Tbs. salt

2 Tbs. fresh-cracked pepper

1/4 C. olive oil


In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Combine the seasonings and olive oil in a mixing bowl. Add the melted butter and stir to mix well. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Cornbread Stuffing


4 8½-oz. boxes cornbread mix

1 C. toasted pine nuts

1 C. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted

2 large Spanish onions, chopped

10 cloves garlic, minced

4 small (7 oz.) chorizo sausages, diced

2 roasted red bell peppers, chopped

1 C. fresh oregano, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste


Bake the cornbread according to package directions. While the bread is still warm, cut it into small cubes in the pan. Let the bread sit at room temperature, uncovered, for 12 hours or overnight. Remove the bread from the pan and crumble to make coarse breadcrumbs.

To toast the pine nuts, bake them on a baking sheet in a 300 degree oven for approximately 5 minutes until they turn golden brown. Watch carefully as they will burn fast. Immediately remove the nuts from the pan to a clean dish to stop them cooking.

In a medium sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Sauté the onion and garlic until translucent but not browned, about 5 minutes. In a large bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, pine nuts, sautéed onion and garlic, sausages, red pepper and oregano, mixing well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. The stuffing can be made up to this point a day in advance and kept refrigerated in an airtight container.

Reserve 3 to 4 C. of the stuffing to stuff the turkey

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