My titi (auntie) Maggie in Sabana Grande, Puerto Rico makes THE absolute unquestionably best most mouth wateringly deliciously juicy Pavochon on the island!

The word pavochon is a combination of the spanish word for turkey-pavo- and the spanish word for suckling pig-lechon. History lesson: This recipe came about when the island became an American commonwealth and adopted the Thanksgiving holiday. For spanish speaking Caribbean islands, the meat of choice for holiday celebrations is lechon.  So it only makes sense to combine the tradition of the islands (lechon) with an American tradition (serving turkey) and that is how you get Pavochon. 

I can't remember where I picked up this recipe but I love it!

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1 Turkey or chicken

Homemade Adobo (use 1 teaspoon for every pound of poultry)

Black pepper, ground (use 1/4 teaspoon for every pound of poultry)

Garlic cloves, crushed (use 1 to 2 garlic cloves for every pound of poultry)

Oregano, dried and crushed (use 1/4 teaspoon for every pound of poultry)

Extra Virgin Olive oil


If using turkey, do not take the wrapping off while defrosting. It will take approximately two days for a large turkey to defrost in the refrigerator.

For best flavor, season poultry the day before.

  • Sprinkle with adobo inside and out.
  • In a mortar and pestle (pilon) mash together garlic, pepper, oregano, and enough oil to make a spreadable smooth paste.
  • Rub all over poultry inside and out. Marinate in covered baking dish overnight.
  • On cooking day, preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Times are approximate since each oven's temperature is unique.

  • If the poultry is 4 to 6 pounds, cook for 3 to 3 hours 45 minutes.
  • If the poultry is 6 to 8 pounds, cook for 3 hours 45 minutes to 4 hours and 30 minutes.
  • If the poultry is 8 to 12 pounds, cook for 4 hours to 5 hours.
  • If you turkey is bigger than that invite me over so I don't have to cook or give me the left overs and I'll make Cuban Sandwiches!

This goes great with mofongo or latin style cornbread stuffing and some coquito on the side. Don't drink too much or the turkey will gobble YOU up!