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Surf & Turk: Spice Up Your Thanksgiving Turkey

Surf & Turk: Spice Up Your Thanksgiving Turkey

by Kevin Patterson

Thanksgiving is special time where families gather together to enjoy ample portions of food, fun and maybe even a little football. While it's traditionally a time to sit back and give thanks for all of the blessings we have in life, Thanksgiving can be a little stressful. So why not inject a little taste of the island life into your holiday? With this jammin' recipe, you'll feel like you've traded-in that pair of stretchy pants for a swimsuit in no time.

Although Thanksgiving isn't normally celebrated in the Caribbean, many people from the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have influenced the region with an exciting variety of menus and colorful traditions. For a cool, island spin on roasted turkey, check out pavochon, a Puerto Rican recipe that is prepared like lechon, or roasted pork. While the recipe is fairly easy to make, this elegantly-prepared bird will pack a flavor punch that is sure to surprise and delight your family this holiday season.


  • 1 head of garlic (cloves separated and peeled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 3 Tablespoons adobo
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 14-pound turkey

Steps Towards Thanksgiving Goodness:

Step 1: Mash your garlic cloves and salt into a paste using a mortar and pestle.

Step 2: Add crushed peppercorns and adobo to the paste.

Step 3: Stir in olive oil and apple cider vinegar.

Step 4: Apply the mixture under the turkey's skin and inside the cavities. Afterwards, rub the rest of the mixture on top of the skin.

Step 5: Roast the turkey according to the recommended time and temperature. A 14 to 16 pound turkey will generally take about 2 1/2 hours to cook. Be sure to let the turkey cool to serving temperature and enjoy a taste of the Caribbean in your home.