Spanish Spiced Turkey

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This post has been sponsored by Roja Wines via Honest Cooking. Thanks for supporting the brands that make Mariah’s Pleasing Plates possible. 
A Spanish Spiced Turkey made with smokey paprika, a hint of cumin and covered in a sweet orange glaze. 
Spiced Spanish Turkey
What is the age that you are officially a grown up? I keep pushing off that age, whatever it may be. But now that we have Baby Stella I have come to terms that Nick and I have inevitably crossed over into adulthood. I came to that conclusion as I was baking my very first Turkey this weekend. Nick and I had a group of our friends over for “Friendgiving” and that meant we were in charge of the main dish. I was a big bundle of nerves, thinking the Food Blogger can’t burn the turkey, or worse serve a dry bird! Luckily for me, everything went off without a hitch. We had a big, beautiful Thanksgiving feast that left me even more excited for Turkey Day!

Spiced Spanish Wine

So yes, the holiday season is in full swing. Before you know it your kitchen will be pumping out glorious platters of food and your dining room will be bustling with friends and family from near and far. But let’s not forget the drinks!

What is a holiday without wine?! We are currently loving Rioja wines. Hailing from North-Central Spain, Rioja refers to the wine as well as the region it comes from. Made mainly from the Tempranillo grape, Rioja wines are one of only two D.O.C regions in Spain and all Rioja wines are always regulated so you can be sure you are buying a quality bottle every time. Rioja wines are versatile and affordable. You don’t have to break the bank on wine for your Thanksgiving dinner and no need stress out about ten different bottles of wine to pair with each course. Choose from juicy rosado wines, crisp blancos, or elegant reds ranging from lighter to robust with spice.

Spanish Spiced Turkey

Celebrate the holidays and take your usual turkey recipe and add some beautiful Spanish flair inspired by Cosecha and Crianza Rioja wines. Take your basic turkey and rub it with a blend of warm spices and smoked Spanish paprika. Then, stuff the bird with dried fruits soaked in an orange sauce and use the same sauce to baste the meat as it roasts.

Cosecha wines act as a beautiful starter glass to your dinners. Fresh, fruity, and not too heavy, they pair well with appetizers, white meats, and simple pastas without overweighing the palate with rich flavors. Rioja’s Crianza classification lets you know that each and every wine is at least three years old and has been aged in casks for a year or more.

Lighter Rioja red wines often have hints of smoke, only slight notes of oak aging, and plenty of ripe berry flavors. Dishes, like this turkey recipe, with orange zest and warm baking spices are natural pairings with these Rioja wines.


Spanish Spiced Turkey
  • Turkey Recipe:
  • 1 Whole Turkey
  • 4 quarts water
  • 1 Cup Kosher Salt
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • Carrots & Onions for roasting
  • Fresh thyme
  • Orange Sauce:
  • 2 Cups Orange Juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 Small Yellow Onion
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic
  • Salt, to taste
  • Honey, to taste
  • 4 Cups Turkey Stock (Chicken or veggie stock work as well)
  • 1 Tablespoon Orange Zest
  • Stuffing:
  • ¼ Cup Prunes
  • ¼ Cup Pine Nuts
  • ¼ Cup Apricots
  • Spices: (adjust according to your preference)
  • 1 teaspoon Fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin seed
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked Spanish Paprika
  • ½ teaspoon White Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard Seeds
  • ½ teaspoon Chili flakes
  • Salt to taste
  • Equipment:
  • Cheese cloth
  • String
  1. Bring to a boil the water, sugar and salt. Cool and then immerse turkey in the brining liquid for about an hour.
  2. Toast pine nuts until golden on the stovetop.
  3. In another pan, saute onions & garlic until soft and fragrant.
  4. Add orange juice and stock and reduce by ⅓, stirring frequently.
  5. Season with honey and salt according to your preference. Pour over the apricots and prunes and allow fruit to soak.
  6. Strain fruit, reserving the liquid, and stir in the toasted pine nuts. Using cheesecloth and string, wrap and tie the prunes, apricots and pine nuts into a bundle.
  7. Combine spices in a bowl.
  8. Stuff bird, sitting in a roasting pan, with bundle and rub with spices. Arrange onions, carrots, and fresh thyme around the turkey.
  9. Roast at 375F for about 2 hours, or until done, depending on the size of the bird.
  10. Baste occasionally with the strained orange sauce while roasting.
  11. When serving, remove the cheesecloth insert and arrange its contents around the turkey with the carrots and onions. Garnish with fresh thyme.



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