Pavo en Escabeche
Adapted from Maria Concepcion Pacho, aka Doña Conchi
For the recado:
6 cloves, lightly toasted
3 allspice berries, lightly toasted
10 black peppercorns, lightly toasted
1½ teaspoons dried oregano
¾ teaspoon of cumin seed, lightly toasted
1 2-inch piece of stick cinnamon
½ teaspoon sea salt
8 garlic cloves, whole peeled
20 mint leaves
1 tablespoon chicken bouillon powder
¾ cup sour orange juice
For the turkey:
½ small turkey (5-6 pound), at room temperature (or equivalent bone-in pieces)
4 fresh Anaheim chiles
4 bay leaves
For the but (meatballs):
4 9-minute eggs, peeled
1 pound ground pork
½ small red onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely grated or pounded
3 tablespoons finely chopped mint
6 green olives, such as picholine, pitted and chopped
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and chopped
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the onion curtido (pickle):
1 red onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup sour orange juice
Warm corn tortillas for serving
Make the recado: Place cloves, allspice, peppercorns, oregano, cumin seed, cinnamon and salt in a mortar or blender and grind finely. Add garlic, mint, bouillon powder and orange juice and continue blending until you have a smooth, watery paste. Taste and adjust salt as needed.
Use your hands to rub recado over turkey. Place in a stock pot or large (at least 6 quart) Dutch oven and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Doing your best to keep the egg yolks whole, separate the whites from the yolks. Set yolks aside and roughly chop whites.
Make the but: In a large bowl, use your hands to combine pork, onion, garlic, mint, olives, capers, salt, and pepper. Add egg whites and continue mixing until mixture is tacky. Set a small frying pan over medium-high heat and add a teaspoon of oil. When it shimmers, cook off a quarter-sized piece of sausage mixture and taste. Adjust salt and pepper as needed, then cook and taste again. When the sausage mixture tastes well-seasoned, form the meatballs.
To form meatballs, take half of sausage mixture into the palm of one hand and pat it into a ½-inch thick oval. Place two egg yolks in the center and wrap mixture around yolks to create a torpedo-shaped meatball. Repeat with remaining sausage and yolks.
Preheat broiler and lay Anaheim chiles in a single layer on a baking sheet. Broil chilies, rotating from time to time, until skins are evenly blistered and charred, about 20 minutes.
Cook the turkey and but: Gently lay meatballs atop turkey and add roasted peppers and bay leaves to pot. Add enough water to barely submerge everything. Season broth lightly with salt, set pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Taste and adjust salt as needed, then reduce heat and simmer for about 45 to 60 minutes until breast and meatballs are cooked through. Remove and set aside, then continue simmering turkey leg until tender at the bone, about 15 to 30 minutes longer.
Make the curtido: In a small saucepot, bring 3 cups of water to a boil, then add onion and turn off heat. Let sit for 2 minutes, then drain. Place onion in a small bowl and add sour orange juice and salt to taste. Stir to combine and let sit for 15 minutes before serving.
To serve, shred turkey and pile onto a platter, then moisten with a few spoonfuls of broth. Cut the but into slices to expose the golden yolks and arrange on platter next to turkey. Serve with roughly chopped charred peppers, onion curtido, and warm tortillas.