25 December 2008

El Pavo de Navidad

Christmas in México is full of surprises and this Christmas was no exception. This year I ate the most fabulous turkey dinner that I have ever eaten in my life (with apologies to my mother and my grandmother). When I first came to México it was fairly rare to find a turkey for roasting in the markets or the supermarkets. Every year it seems like more and more things are becoming readily available. My wife Gina found a fifteen and a half pound frozen “pavo ahumado” or “smoked turkey” at the Soriana supermarket for 378 pesos. She had heard about injecting a smoked turkey with wine so she went to the pharmacy and told the pharmacist that she wanted to buy a “jeringa” (hair-EENG-ah) or “syringe”. The pharmacist asked her what size she wanted and she told him that she didn't know. He then asked her what she was going to do with it and she told him that she was going to “inyectar un pavo” or “inject a turkey”. In Mexico that's all there is to it. No other questions asked. He sold her a 10 milliliter syringe with a .8 millimeter diameter needle. After she defrosted the turkey she took the syringe and injected the turkey with about a half liter of white wine until every bit of turkey flesh was soused. She put the turkey in a big roasting pan with a lid that she had borrowed from her mother, rubbed it with olive oil, and put it in the oven at 400 degrees for about three and a half hours. Then she just shut off the oven and let the turkey cool down very slowly until it was time to serve it. Wow! It was so good that it exceeded everyone's expectations, even those of my mother-in-law Carmelita. I am very proud of Gina and I am already looking for my next drunken turkey...burp. ¡Perdón!


Unknown said...

Ja ja ja ja ja....excuse your burps sir. I did the same with a wild turkey I shot a couple of years ago. I injected italian dressing into it and then deep fried it. For every pound of turkey, you fried it for three and a half minutes at 275F. It turn out to be, the best turkey I have had. Really not dry at all, juicy and excellent. ¡Buen provecho Bob and Gina!

Frankly Ronda said...

What an interesting idea. We have a trukey in the freezer. Think I will suggest this approach to Husband for cooking!

Tancho said...

How sad that our US friends are unable to partake in the same preparation without first getting a prescription from a doctor for the syringe, and then signing several forms of release liability of modification of food products, before cooking the turkey the way YOU want to cook it.
But in time that will probably change with the attorneys figure out who to make a peso.
Merry Christmas to you and yours, and lets all have a great new year!

The Old Foodie said...

Hello Bob (and Gina) - this is a great idea for a turkey. I usually marinade and cook it in milk, but I am absolutely definitely going to try this next time. Thanks for the idea!

Anonymous said...

Our supermarket pharmacy doesn't even carry the large-size syringes at holiday time, as we found out when we asked and they sent us over to the produce section where they were displayed next to the turkeys.

My in-law family's tradition is to use pineapple juice.

GlorV1 said...

Oh now that sounds really good Bob. I'll have to try it sometime. I hope your Christmas was a joyful one and I hope your new year will bring you much joy and happiness, as well as health.

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I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. I have been living in Mexico since January 6th, 1999. I am continually studying to improve my knowledge of the Spanish language and Mexican history and culture. I am also a student of Mandarin Chinese.