Puerto Rican-Style Turkey

Chef Bill Kim makes this curry-and-chile-spiced marinade inspired by lechón, a slow-roasted Puerto Rican pork dish that he learned from his mother-in-law. Because the flavors are intense, it's best to scrape off the marinade before grilling.

Puerto-Rican Style Turkey
Photo: © Tina Rupp
Active Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
45 mins
4 to 6


  • 8 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano

  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika

  • 1 tablespoon pure ancho chile powder

  • 3/4 teaspoon curry powder

  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 pounds turkey cutlets

  • Vegetable oil, for brushing


  1. In a mini food processor, combine the garlic, oregano, paprika, chile powder, curry and salt and process until the garlic is chopped. Add the vinegar and olive oil and process to a paste.

  2. Rub the marinade onto the turkey cutlets and let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

  3. Light a grill. Scrape the marinade off of the turkey cutlets. Brush the cutlets with vegetable oil and grill over moderately high heat, turning once, until lightly charred and cooked through, about 5 minutes total. Serve hot.

Make Ahead

The marinade can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.


Variation The marinade is also great for pork chops and pork tenderloin.

Serve With

Black beans and yellow rice.

Suggested Pairing

Tropical South African Chenin Blanc.

Related Articles