Smoked Turkey Basted with Cascabel Paste

These chiles will add a deep, nutty flavor to dishes and are great to use in salsas and sauces. It is a medium-hot chile that is good in soups, stews, sauces and sausage.

Heat Scale
Submit Recipe


3 Tbsp Cascabel paste (see recipe below)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 10-lb turkey


Heat the oil and saute the garlic until softened. Remove from the heat and add the oregano, salt, paste and pepper.

Split the turkey in half by cutting in through the breast and backbone. Brush the chile oil over the turkey and marinate for a couple of hours at room temperature. Place the turkey sections, breast side up, on a grill in a smoker and smoke with indirect heat over an aromatic wood such as pecan, apple, or hickory. Baste the turkey with the oil every half hour until the turkey sections are done, approximately 4 hours.

Cascabel Paste
30 cascabel chiles, stemmed
1 1/3 cups cider vinegar
2 tablespoons mined onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic

For a milder purée, rub chiles between your palms to remove most of the seeds. Toast chiles on a cast iron or steel comal until hot and aromatic (don’t allow to burn). Chop chiles coarsely with a knife or in a food processor. Put them in a bowl and pour the vinegar over. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Add onion and garlic to the chiles and either cover the bowl with plastic and microwave on HIGH for 1 minute, or put them in a saucepan over medium-high heat, cover, and simmer for 3 minutes.

Let cool slightly, then purée in a blender until very smooth. Let cool. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 month.