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Flaming Turkey

By : Ka3n

This is a great recipe for game birds. I used to call it Peppered Turkey until I moved to New Mexico and made it with Habanero peppers, most of it was too hot for me to eat and my hands felt like they were flaming for hours after I cut up those little orange devils. My first experience with Habanero Peppers. Caliente!! Warning: Habaneros are extremely hot!

The night before you roast the bird:
One turkey or game bird, washed and dried. Using a filet knife, cut small slits 1/2 long and various depths into the turkey.
Slice fresh Japapeno peppers and fresh garlic into long pieces.
Slide them deeply into the slits and then press the meat and skin back together. Do this all over the turkey. Cover the bird and refridgerate overnight.

Before roasting, uncover bird, rub butter and small amount of white pepper and salt inside and outside of the bird. Roast in the oven as you would any turkey. I like to slow roast mine with a loose tent of foil (not touching the bird) and add 1/2 cup of water to the bottom of the pan (we have no humidity here and they tend to dry out). Then uncover it the last hour to brown the skin crispy. Be sure to baste often as this makes the bird moist and flavorful. It's done when the thigh is 180 degrees F, and the breast is 170 degrees F. This will take about 5 hrs at 300F for a 20 pound turkey. Let it rest for about 15 minutes before you carve, the little bits of garlic and peppers will be soft and add a wonderful zing when you bite into them.

TIPS:
Wear a pair of surgical gloves--or any kind of latex or vinyl tight-fitting gloves. THis will keep the pepper off of your hands.
Cut through the pepper by the stem area down to the tip, cutting it into 8 or more slices. It's easy to remove the seeds this way.
Keep the seeds in the peppers if you like it hotter, also, the seeds don't soften up as much as the pepper flesh and garlic so omit them if you prefer it mild or don't want the feeling of an occasional pepper seed.
The left overs make the most fantastic turkey salad, just add mayo.

HOW MUCH PEPPER & GARLIC?
The amount of pepper and garlic is to taste and according to the size of your turkey. For a 20 pound turkey I use about 1/4 cup garlic and 1/2 cup of Jalapenos with the seeds removed. It's very spicy. I will use Habaneros if a guest wants it very very caliente (hot), and I always remember what part of the bird I put it in, if you are going to use both, be sure to buy the orange Habaneros and the green Jalapenos. That way you and your guests will know which one is which before you bite into it.

ADDED BENEFIT:
Peppers have a thermogenic effect, so the Flaming Turkey will give your metabolism a boost!

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Each Jalapeno pepper has .83 carbs and 4.2 calories.
1/2 of a cup of Japapeno peppers has 5.32 grams of carbs and 27 calories.

Each 1/4 cup of sliced fresh garlic has 11.2 carbs and 50 calories.

If you make it the way that I do in this recipe, you'll add 16.5 grams of carbs and 77 calories to the entire turkey.

November 2001 - "Let's Talk About Holiday Meals Post"

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