To make Turkey Loco, a popular Mexican technique for barbecuing chicken is used—the bird is split and butterflied to cook more quickly. Lime juice adds tart flavor to the crisp, burnished skin.
Tip: Barbecuing the Thanksgiving turkey frees up the oven for other holiday dishes.
1 (10 to 12-pound) turkey
About 4 limes, cut into halves
About 4 teaspoons dry oregano
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Reserve turkey neck and giblets for other uses, if desired. Using poultry shears or a sharp, heavy knife, cut through turkey down length of backbone. Pull turkey open and lay it on a flat surface, breast down; press to flatten (some ribs will crack). Pull off and discard lumps of fat. Rinse turkey and pat dry. (At this point, you may cover and refrigerate until next day.)
- Prepare barbecue for indirect grilling: Ignite about 50 charcoal briquets in a barbecue with a lid. When the coals are covered with gray ash (after 30 to 40 minutes), push an equal number to opposite sides of the grate or arrange them around the grate's perimeter. Evenly distribute 5 or 6 briquets on the coals, then set a foil drip pan on the grate between the coals. Place grill 4 to 6-inches above the coals.
- Lay flattened bird, breast up, on grill above drip pan. Squeeze and rub 1 or 2 lime halves over turkey; sprinkle with oregano, then sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Cover barbecue and adjust vents as needed to maintain an even heat. Every 30 minutes, squeeze and rub 1 or 2 more lime halves over turkey and add 5 or 6 more briquets to each side of coals every 30 minutes to maintain a constant temperature.
- Cook turkey until meat thermometer inserted in thickest part of breast (not touching bone) registers 170°F (80°C), about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
- Transfer turkey to a platter. To carve, cut off wings and slice breast; cut off legs and slice meat from thighs.
Makes 10 to 12 servings.