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Zarela Martinez’s Pavo Horneado y Jugo de Pavo La Parroquia (Oven-Roasted Turkey and Turkey Gravy) for #CelebrateWithAPlate

We asked some of our favorite chef friends around NYC to share a recipe that our followers might cook for their Thanksgiving Meal. The result is a 5-dish simple but delicious Thanksgiving menu. We’ll be releasing one recipe from a different borough each Sunday for the next 5 weeks here on our blog. We think you can enjoy these any day of the year.

This week, we’re in Manhttan where we serve 1,273 clients. This delicious, spiced turkey comes from Zarela Martinez, world-renowned Mexican chef and cookbook author.
Zarela says, “For years, I made the entire Thanksgiving meal, but now that my children are all grown up and married, each one brings their specialty. The rule at our home is that everything must be homemade. I love to have my familia around me as we cook. In Mexico, most people do not celebrate Thanksgiving. But all along the border, both Mexicans and Mexican Americans celebrate this beautiful holiday. Turkey dishes don’t show up on a regular basis in many Mexican restaurants, but El Gran Café de la Parroquia, a much-loved institution in the port city of Veracruz, is the exception. La Parroquia’s roast turkey is one of the best main dishes I know for a hearty Thanksgiving, because it’s accented with but not overwhelmed by the chiles and herbs. It even works well with an otherwise non-Mexican menu. By all means serve it as the center of a small-scale Thanksgiving, as the optimal size for the turkey is under 12 pounds.”


1 10-12 lbs. turkey, with neck and giblets
1 small white onion, unpeeled, plus 1 large
white onion sliced into half-moons
1 head garlic, separated into cloves and
peeled, except for 2 cloves
1 tablespoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
12 bay leaves
8-9 cups chicken stock, preferably home-
made, or water
3 large ancho chilies, stemmed and seeded
3 guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 large or 3-4 medium-sized ripe tomatoes
(about 1 pound in total), roasted and peeled
4 large fresh oregano sprigs or 2 teaspoons
crumbled dried oregano
4 large fresh thyme sprigs or 2 teaspoons
crumbled dried thyme


1. To make the stock for the gravy, chop or break the turkey neck into manageable pieces. Place in a large saucepan with the giblets (leave out the liver) and any other available trimmings. Add the unpeeled onion, the 2 unpeeled garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon of the salt, ½ teaspoon of the peppercorns, and 2 of the bay leaves. Add enough chicken stock or water to cover the ingredients. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to maintain a low rolling boil. Skim off any froth that accumulates on top and cook, partly covered, for 1-1 ½ hours. Strain the stock through a medium-mesh sieve, and set aside.
2. While the stock cooks, rinse and griddle-dry the ancho and guajillo chiles. Place in a bowl, add boiling water to cover, and let stand for 30 minutes.
3. Drain the soaked chiles and puree in a blender with tomatoes, the remaining ½ teaspoon peppercorns, 1 teaspoon of the salt, 2 of the garlic cloves, and 1 sprig of oregano and thyme. With a wooden spoon or pusher, force the mixture through a medium-mesh sieve into a bowl.
4. Slather the dried turkey with the chile-tomato paste. Let stand for 30 minutes.
5. Arrange the large onion, the remaining garlic cloves, and the remaining oregano, thyme and bay leaves to make a bed on the bottom of a large roasting pan. Place the turkey breast side down on the bed of aromatics. Roast for 2 ½ hours, turning every 30 minutes. When done, the turkey will have reached an internal temperature of 175°- 180° F in the thickest part of the thigh. Lift out the turkey onto a platter and cover loosely with foil while you prepare the gravy.
6. Place the roasting pan on the stovetop. Add the reserved stock and bring to a boil over high heat. With a wooden spoon or spatula, scrape up any browned bits that cling to the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to maintain a low rolling boil and cook for 20 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve. You now have an incomparable consommé-like broth or pan gravy. Carve the turkey and serve with gravy.

All 5 of the dishes we’ll be sharing celebrate the immense diversity of flavors, experiences, clients, and supporters that we are lucky to be surrounded by in our beloved home-city.

Please enjoy these dishes and share your results online by tagging @godslovenyc and #CelebrateWithAPlate

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