Turkey Mercedes Recipe - Allrecipes.com
Turkey Mercedes Recipe
  • READY IN 13+ hrs

Turkey Mercedes

Recipe by  

"Thanksgiving turkey has been given a Cuban twist! We celebrate this American holiday by preparing a turkey marinated with the flavors of Cuba. The recipe is foolproof and the turkey is the best you'll ever taste!"

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 1 turkey Change Servings
  • PREP

    40 mins
  • COOK

    5 hrs

    13 hrs 40 mins


  1. Crush the peeled garlic cloves, and place into a large bowl. Season with pepper, cumin, oregano, and salt. Pour in lemon juice, wine, and orange juice concentrate; whisk together until well mixed.
  2. Using a sharp paring knife, pierce the turkey breast, thighs, and legs; creating holes for the marinade to penetrate. Pour the marinade over turkey, and into the holes. Finally, stuff garlic pieces into the holes. Cover the turkey well, and refrigerate overnight to marinate.
  3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  4. Roast turkey in the preheated oven until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the thigh measures 180 degrees F (80 degrees C), about 5 hours. Baste the turkey every 30 to 45 minutes. Once the breast has browned, cover loosely with aluminum foil to prevent it from becoming burnt.
Kitchen-Friendly View


  • Learn more about how to cook a turkey for Thanksgiving in our How to Cook a Turkey article!
  • Easy Cleanup
  • If you make this in a slow cooker, using a slow cooker liner can make cleanup easier.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Nov 24, 2006

I followed the recipe exactly, and it was absolutely delicious. Incredibly moist, flavorful, with a heavenly aroma--best smelling/tasting turkey I've made in 15 years. I left the marinade in the bottom of my roasting pan and used it to baste the turkey every 30-45 minutes. After the turkey was cooked, I made a pan gravy with the drippings/marinade mixture by whisking in about a 1/4 cup of white all-purpose flour. Let that darken, whisked constantly to prevent lumps, then added about 2 cups reduced sodium/fat chicken broth, and some whipping cream (maybe 2-3 Tbsp., and one grated carrot (optional-lemon zest would be nice, too). Whisked misture constantly, letting it get to the desired color and thickness. Served the gravy with the turkey and the combination was out of this world!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Nov 27, 2006

Not to sound mean but - this recipe was followed exactly (with reservations) using a 22-pound Butterball because I wanted to try something new for the holiday & the reviews were generally very good. It basically ruined Thanksgiving. All you could taste was citrus & garlic. The drippings made a horrible gravy when used even sparingly (were you even supposed to use these drippings?). Very difficult to believe this recipe WON a contest. Maybe if you grew up eating something like this & are used to it - I can possibly see stomaching that. Tried to salvage the gravy by dilluting it with canned gravy and thought it was OK - to no avail. Some people put the gravy on the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes etc. which essentially made it inedible. Ended up throwing a lot of food out. The overall turkey itself was OK once you got past all the garlic & citrus outer coating. For the holidays tradition will always be followed from now on - NO lemons/orange concentrate/massive garlic. Just roast & baste the thing. I also found it difficult understanding the glowing reviews this recipe received??? Unfortunately I had to learn that tradition should rule the hard way.


116 Ratings

Nov 22, 2009

I have made this turkey many times, it is one of my favorite recipes from this site. Since there are only 2 of us, I always cut the marinade in half and use only a turkey breast. I roast it at 325 for 20 minutes per pound. I've also prepared this using chicken, and besides roasting it, cooked it in the crockpot. It's always turned out great! I always stuff it with garlic first, and then pour the marinade over. Good stuff!

Nov 24, 2006

AMAZING! This was my first turkey roating experience and what an experience. I had 22lbs turkey for 23 people and there was nothing left at the end. I followed the recipe except adding quatered lemons and oranges into the turkey cavity to keep the citrus aroma and basting it about every one hour with mixture of olive oil, cumin, ground pepper, and salt. I was impressed with the color of the finished bird and how juicy it was when we started carving it. And as soon as you put it in your mouth, it melts. People who hate white meat went for a second serving! This is a keeper.

Oct 09, 2006

Since I was making a turkey breast rather than a whole turkey, I used the servings calculator to cut the recipe by a quarter. We enjoyed the turkey, but I left off a star because I thought it was too lemony. Perhaps that was a result of tampering with the amounts. If I was to make it again, I would cut the lemon by half.

May 15, 2007

I usually cook my turkeys in a Reynolds bag, so I used the bag to hold the turkey while marinating. I think it made it much easier (but I didn't try it without the bag). This way I could turn to turkey in the bag as it marinated. Update: It was good, but I wouldn't make it again for Thanksgiving. (I'll go back to a simple brined turkey.) As a change of pace, the flavor was too mild for the extra trouble.

Sep 18, 2006

I have made this myself and shared it with my office staff during our Holiday Pot Luck...It was a HUGE HIT!! Everyone was asking for the recipe! I now have been able to share it with them all and they truly have enjoyed it, and have not made a turkey the "old fashioned" way since. This recipe is a "KEEPER"! Thanks Anel!!

Dec 02, 2006

It was delicious and the citrus marinade was so fresh tasting. I marinated the turkey in a sturdy plastic bag in lieu of the pan and aluminum foil. I definitely will make this again and again.


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  • Calories
  • 589 kcal
  • 29%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 8.9 g
  • 3%
  • Cholesterol
  • 215 mg
  • 72%
  • Fat
  • 25.6 g
  • 39%
  • Fiber
  • 0.6 g
  • 2%
  • Protein
  • 74.5 g
  • 149%
  • Sodium
  • 879 mg
  • 35%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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