Roasted Turkey with a Cuban Garlic Mojo Marinade
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Cuban, Paleo
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12-15
Tired of eating dry and boring Turkey year after year? Give the gift of health AND flavor this Thanksgiving with this authentic Cuban Garlic Marinade called "mojo." This marinade is so good that it can be used on any protein from fish to pork to chicken, turkey and even steaks! It is THAT good.
  • 12-15 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1½ tablespoons of kosher coarse sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon of black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons of dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
  1. First and foremost you must pound out the garlic and salt to create a paste using a mortar and pestle. Prepare to get a workout on because this is intense. This is why I do CrossFit. Ha! The reason why I say to mash the garlic and salt first is because the salt keeps the garlic from flying all over the place when pounding it out. I like to use a deep bowl to pound it out and not your typical shallow mortar and pestle set.
  2. Once you have a garlicy paste, add the peppercorn and pound it out again mixing the pepper throughout your paste. Does your right bicep feel HUGE or what?
  3. Add your oregano and stir.
  4. Finally add the olive oil and white wine vinegar and stir. Be ready to be wowed with the sensational aromatic smell this rub has.
  5. Once your mojo is complete, it is time to marinate the turkey. This is where I say you get very "personal" with the turkey; you violate the turkey; or you become one with the turkey. Which ever way you refer to it, the secret to a delicious and flavored bird is adding the rub underneath the skin. This is very tricky because you don't want to break the skin so do not rush this step. You must slowly put two fingers under the skin slowly separating the skin from the meat. Once you have done that throughout the bird, add your rub. Any leftover can be added on top and the bottom of the bird, but the majority should be placed inside the turkey.
  6. Truss the turkey and if you have never done that look at this video ( for step by step directions.
  7. I marinate the turkey overnight in the refrigerator. Remove the turkey from the refrigerator 1 hour before roasting.
  8. Roast the turkey covered at 400°F, breast side down, for the first 45 minutes and then turn the turkey breast side up and roast at 325°F until done. I covered the turkey the entire time while roasting until the last 5 minutes and I broil the top to crisp the skin. Cooking the turkey breast down for the first 45 minutes is very crucial because when you cook it breast side down, the juices leak down into the breasts, which will help your white meat from drying out. For a 12lb turkey I cooked the turkey for about 4 hours or until the temperature was 160 degrees between the breast and leg.
  9. After taking the turkey out of the oven, let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes. This allows time for some of the juices to be absorbed back into the meat, which makes it easier to carve and makes it much more moist.
  10. After dinner, remove any remaining meat from the bones and refrigerate the leftovers and whatever you do; do NOT throw away the bones. Save the bones and throw it in your slow cooker with carrots, onions, celery, garlic, 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and water for 24 hours and you have homemade broth. I then take the broth and divide it in 2-3 cup serving sizes and freeze them in ziplock bags and take them out when I need it for future recipes.
* Please note, this recipe should be used used to season 5lbs of meat. Double, triple, quadruple the mojo recipe for the amount of poultry or protein you have.
Recipe by Our Full Plate at