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Pavochon (Puerto Rican Style Turkey) on a black tray with lime wedges.
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5 from 1 vote


Pavochon, is Puerto Rican style turkey that is marinated in lots of garlic and other delicious spices producing the most flavorful and delicious turkey you have ever had! It is then roasted to crispy golden perfection and all the while serving the most succulent, tender meat. You will never season your turkey any other way again!
Prep Time1 d
Cook Time3 hrs 30 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Puerto Rican
Keyword: Pavochon, Puerto Rican Thanksgiving Turkey
Servings: 4
Calories: 317kcal
Author: Mexican Appetizers and More


  • 13-22 pound turkey thawed
  • adobo generously sprinkled
  • 1-2 cups water, chicken broth or beer

Mojo Marinade

  • 1½-2 heads garlic peeled
  • tbsp oregano
  • 1 packet Sazon optional
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 3-5 tbsp oil

Gravy (Optional)

  • giblets from turkey
  • 1-2 cups broth and drippings from turkey
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1+ cornstarch to thicken


Mojo Marinade

  • Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth and a paste forms.


  • If turkey is frozen, thaw out in refrigerator 2-3 days in advance. (depending how large it is)
  • Remove giblets from turkey cavity (can also be found in the neck pouch).
    Reserve giblets for gravy.
  • Rinse both the inside and outside of turkey.
    Place turkey in a large aluminum tray or roaster pan.
  • Using a knife, carefully make a few slits (cuts) about 1 inch deep to the back of the turkey, breast area, drumsticks and thighs.
  • Using your hands, massage about a tablespoon of the mojo marinade inside the cavity and then sprinkle adobo to the inside as well.
    Note: You may have to lift up turkey with one hand to be able to sprinkle adobo further inside of cavity.
  • Using your hands again, add the mojo marinade all over the turkey, including in between skin and breast and making sure to add some mojo inside the slits you have made.
  • Generously sprinkle adobo all over turkey.
  • Make sure to also season giblets.
    Add giblets to pan and cover turkey with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
    Place in refrigerator for 24-48 hours.

Cooking Turkey

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • When ready to cook the turkey, take out of refrigerator and let it sit on counter for 20 minutes while preheating oven.
  • Add a cup or two of water, chicken broth or beer to roaster.
    Cover turkey with lid or aluminum foil.
    Add turkey to oven and roast with giblets covered for 2 hours.
  • Remove lid or aluminum foil and continue roasting turkey until a meat thermometer reads 165F internal temperature. 
    Note: If you notice the breast starts to color to fast or burn, use a piece of foil to cover the breasts but leave everything else exposed.
  • Remove foil the last 30 minutes of cooking to allow the turkey to get fully golden brown.
  • Once turkey is done, remove from oven and let sit on kitchen counter for 20 minutes before carving.

Carving Turkey

  • If making gravy, first reserve one to two cups of broth and drippings that has collected in pan. Set aside until ready to make gravy.
    Remove one or two cups of turkey drippings and broth that has collected in pan and set aside.
  • Carefully lift turkey unto a carving board.
  • Keep the rest of the turkey juices and drippings in pan.
  • Cut and remove all the dark meat by cutting at the joints of wings, thighs and drumsticks.
  • Cut dark meat into thin slices or keep drumsticks and thighs whole.
    Add pieces back to pan.
  • With a good sharp knife, slice turkey breast into thin pieces.
    Add turkey breast slices back to pan.
  • With a large spoon, pour juices from pan over all turkey pieces and breast for extra flavor.

Serving Turkey

  • At this point, you can serve turkey right away or continue and make a side gravy.
  • Whether you're making gravy or not, serve turkey right out of pan in its own juices or place in a serving dish and top with pan juices.

Simple Gravy (Optional)

  • Add the reserved broth and giblets to a sauce pan and heat over medium heat for a few minutes.
    *If you do not have enough broth, add a cup of water to pot.
  • After broth has heated through, remove giblets and strain broth if you like.
    Return broth back to pan and season with salt and pepper if needed.
    *The broth is already so tasteful, you really don’t need much.
  • Add a tablespoon of cornstarch to pot and whisk into broth until all lumps are gone.
    Add more cornstarch until desired consistency is reached.
    Gravy is ready.


If your turkey is frozen, make sure to allot time for thawing. It may take a few days to thaw out completely so keep this in mind when making this recipe because you will also need at least one extra day for marinating.


Serving: 5g | Calories: 317kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 227g | Fat: 70g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 754mg | Sodium: 1295mg | Potassium: 2406mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 766IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 158mg | Iron: 10mg