With November just weeks away, I have Thanksgiving turkey on the brain. And I started thinking about a turkey rub. I want something with a rich flavor, that would make great gravy, and a crispy skin is a must. Thanksgiving dinner is my favorite holiday dinner of the year and I never deviate from my menu. But this year I thought, “Just because I don’t want to do something different doesn’t mean you wouldn’t want to.” So, I decided to put a southwest flare to my traditional Thanksgiving favorites. I started the other day with the chorizo sausage stuffing recipe and now I am making a roast turkey with a hatch chile turkey rub. Truth be told, this hatch chile recipe is the one my husband uses for chickens when he roasts them and it is so delicious I wanted to try it with turkey, so I did. You can see the results in the picture – the poor bird never stood a chance.
What you don’t know yet and I tell you in the video below is that I made this turkey on a Saturday night. Yes, night. I am the only one I know who is crazy enough to test drive a turkey recipe at 815pm on a Saturday night. This turkey didn’t come out of the oven at that time, but went into the oven at that time (you can’t say I’m not dedicated). And at 11:15pm the turkey was done and at 11:20 pm I was filming the video. At this point I would like to tell you that we followed the rules and let the turkey rest and then sliced into it, but that would be a lie. We, being my husband, kids and my daughter’s friend, all were so hungry we just dug in, literally. Forks in hands, no one even waited for me to slice off pieces of the turkey, they all started eating right from the turkey. Can you imagine the scene? Lesson 1 when cooking a turkey: don’t start at 8:15 at night. 🙂
This is a wonderful turkey recipe that you can use on more than just turkey. You can incorporate it year round by using with chicken. The spice on the hatch chiles isn’t too hot or overpowering, it’s just enough to know it’s there and add a little flavor. We never used this as a turkey rub before, but my kids loved it – even the ones who “don’t like spicy.” If it sounds interesting, test drive it on chicken first so when you are doing your Thanksgiving turkey you’ll know what to expect. And as always please let me know what you think by leaving me a comment. Enjoy!
TURKEY RUB – WONDERFUL HATCH CHILES
- 1 turkey, any size
- kosher salt to cover turkey + 1 tsp for bottom of pan
- non stick cooking spray
- ½ cup olive oil, divided
- 1 tsp pepper +½ tsp for bottom of pan
- 1 tbsp sage + ½ tsp for bottom of pan
- 1 tbsp rosemary + ½ tsp for bottom of pan
- 1 tbsp thyme + ½ tsp for bottom of pan
- 1 -1 ½ cups dried hatch chiles + 2 tbsp for bottom of pan
- 6 tbsp butter, unsalted
1 ½ hours before cooking turkey remove it from refrigerator. Remove giblet bag and neck from the turkey’s cavity. Rinse entire turkey inside and out in sink under running water. Set turkey on a wire rack or baking sheet, pat it dry with paper towels. Rub kosher salt over the entire turkey. Let turkey stand at room temp for about an hour.
Prepare your roasting pan by coating the sides and bottom with non-stick cooking spray and drizzling ¼ cup olive oil. Sprinkle ½ tsp of salt, pepper, sage, rosemary, thyme and 2 tbsp of hatch chiles on the bottom of the pan. (I have been using this All Clad roasting pan for years and love it – well worth the money. )
After an hour place turkey into roasting pan. Pat dry any moisture on turkey. Drizzle with olive oil, you may not need an entire ¼ cup. If your turkey is smaller, use less. For your turkey rub, season the top, sides and legs of turkey with 1 tsp pepper, sage, rosemary, thyme and ¾ cup dried hatch chiles. If your turkey is bigger use 1 cup. Fill turkey cavity with prepared chorizo sausage stuffing recipe. Divide butter into 6 tbsps. Tuck 1 tbsp between one leg and body, 1 tbsp between the other leg and body, 2 tbsp under the back skin flap and 2 tbsp on top of turkey. Cover the turkey with foil and place in oven. Cook on 450 for first 40 mins and then reduce heat to 375 for remainder of cooking time (see Ninja Tip below for cooking times). Remove the foil for last 30 mins of cook time. Remove turkey from oven (see note) and transfer to carving board. Tent with foil and let rest for 30 mins. Carve and serve.
Ninja Tip: Cooking Time- Rule is 13 mins per pound. The time can change depending upon brining or an empty cavity(no stuffing). To be safe use the 13 mins per lb rule but check turkey temperature halfway through planned cook time. Adjust as needed.
Removing Turkey- Let the turkey juices drain into roasting pan as you’re removing cooked turkey. If you choose to make gravy these juices will be your base.