Spice-Rubbed Turkey

  • Servings: 12

Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 2001


  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried Anaheim chiles, seeds removed
  • 1 tablespoon dried red chiles
  • 3 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 3 tablespoons coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 turkey (16 to 18 pounds)
  • Spicy Cornbread Stuffing


  1. Using a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the coriander seeds and cumin seeds until fragrant, about 2 minutes. In a spice grinder, grind the oregano, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, Anaheim chiles, red chiles, paprika, salt, and peppercorns into a powder. Transfer to a bowl, and set aside.

  2. Rinse turkey with cold water, making sure to clean neck and main cavity thoroughly. Pat inside and outside of bird dry with paper towels. The outside of bird must be dry for spice rub to adhere to skin.

  3. Wearing rubber gloves, rub spice mixture thoroughly over entire bird. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Spices may be applied up to 1 day ahead. Allow bird to come to room temperature before stuffing.

  4. Place rack in lower third of oven, and heat oven to 450 degrees. Stuff neck cavity with 3 to 4 cups of Spicy Cornbread Stuffing. Fold neck flap down, and secure to underside of turkey using stainless-steel trussing pins or wooden skewers. Stuff larger cavity with remaining stuffing.

  5. Cut a piece of kitchen twine to twice the length of the turkey. Fold twine in two, and, starting at neck, bring twine forward around body of turkey ending at legs. Tie twine to secure wings and legs to body of bird. Cross turkey's legs, and tie together. Place trussed bird in a V-rack in a large roasting pan.

  6. Transfer turkey to oven. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees. After the first hour, rotate pan every 30 minutes until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Remove from oven, and set aside for 30 minutes before carving.


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