Rating: 5 stars
1721 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 1721
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
  • 1,721 Ratings

After rubbing the turkey with a bold and delicious mix of chile powder, cumin, sugar and herbs, Texas chef Tim Love blankets it with slices of salty, fatty pancetta, resulting in a supermoist and savory roasted turkey. Slideshow: More Holiday Turkey Recipes Plus: Ultimate Thanksgiving Guide 

Tim Love
September 2006


Credit: © Tina Rupp

Recipe Summary test

1 hr
6 hrs




Instructions Checklist
  • In a large bucket or pot, combine the salt, crushed red pepper, garlic, jalapeños and hot water and stir to dissolve the salt. Add the turkey, breast side down, then cover with the cold water so it is fully submerged. Cover and refrigerate the turkey for 12 hours.

  • Preheat the oven to 325°. Drain and rinse the turkey and pat dry. In a small bowl, combine the chile powder, salt, cumin, rosemary, thyme, garlic powder, brown sugar and black pepper. Rub the spice mixture all over the turkey. Place the turkey in a large roasting pan. Arrange about three-quarters of the pancetta over the breast, overlapping the slices. Secure the pancetta in several spots with toothpicks. Wrap the legs and thighs with the remaining pancetta, securing it with toothpicks.

  • Roast the turkey for about 4 1/2 hours, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thigh registers 165°. After about 1 1/2 hours of cooking, cover the turkey loosely with foil as the pancetta browns. When the turkey is done, transfer it to a carving board and let rest for 30 minutes. Discard the toothpicks. Carve the turkey into slices and serve the crispy pancetta on the side.

Suggested Pairing

California Pinot Noir ranges in weight from light and fresh to voluptuous and rich; for this succulent bird, go for a more full-bodied bottling. Wines from the warm vineyards of Santa Barbara County tend toward this style.