Teresa's Drunk Turkey - Our Traditional Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

Teresa didn't grow up with Thanksgiving, but as with all things food, regardless of its origin, she utilized her creativity and made the MVP on the Thanksgiving table her very own, and it's developed quite the reputation over the years! Anyone who has ever joined us for our annual Feast of Thanks has marveled and commented at the amazing flavor in our turkey and begged for the secret recipe! Well, Teresa's Kitchen operates sans recipes. So for many years, there was nothing to give out to those anxious to attempt this bird on their own, only seconds at dinner. She would describe bits and pieces of her process, and the part that stuck the most, was that it marinates for days in liquor and red wine. From this, our famous "Drunk Turkey" earned its name.

Approximately some years ago, a few days before Thanksgiving, Teresa began as always preparing the traditional Drunk Turkey. This year, however, husband Michael stood behind her with pad and pencil, determined to commit this tradition to paper and finally share it with all those eager to try it for their own families. And now, we're bringing this tradition to the world wide web!

Sharing is a big theme at Thanksgiving. Sharing a table. Sharing company. Sharing recipes; and we're so excited to share this one with you.


Teresa's Turkey with Stuffing
a.k.a. The Drunk Turkey


½ c olive oil
2 T brown sugar
2 t cumin
1 T salt, or to taste
1 t oregano
1 t black pepper
3 T ground ají panca or aji panca paste*
3 T fresh minced garlic
1 c red wine
2 shots of vodka or tequila

Stuffing (yields ~9 cups)

4 c cooked rice
1 lb. cooked Italian sausage
½ c raisins
1 16oz. can of pineapple, diced
½ c sliced almonds (optional)


  1. Defrost turkey and rinse with water. Set aside.

  2. Heat oil in sauce pan on high until very hot. Add sugar and caramelize continuously mixing until the sugar has turned a deep brown – be sure to not let it burn! Turn the heat down to low and add the garlic and spice mix. Cook for 5 minutes. At this point, the marinade should taste offensively salty and very intense! Turn off the heat and add the wine.

  3. Place your turkey in a dish or pan and coat it with your hard liquor inside and out before coating it with the marinade, letting the rest fall into dish. Make sure to get all the nooks and crannies and really massage it into the bird! Once thoroughly coated, place the bird into the fridge for 1-3 days recoating 1-2 times each day. The longer it marinates, and the more often it’s recoated, the more flavor it will have!

  4. On roasting day, preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Brown the Italian sausage on a stovetop. Add rice, pineapple, raisins, and optional almonds and mix thoroughly.

  5. Place turkey in a greased roasting pan along with remaining marinade and proceed to stuff the bird. You'll likely have some leftover that will not fit.

  6. Roast turkey breast side down with the lid on. After slightly more than half your cooking time has passed (based on the size of your bird), take the pan out of the oven and rotate the bird so the breast side is up. Replace lid and roast for the rest of the cooking time. Finally, remove the lid, and broil the bird for 5 minutes.

  7. Once finished roasting, remove the pan and let the bird rest for 15-20 minutes. If you have leftover stuffing that didn't fit in the bird, roast it in the 325 degree oven until "it looks tasty" 😉 After the bird has rested, remove it from the pan. Take out the stuffing and mix in some drippings to taste. Use remaining drippings for gravy. Carve, serve, and impress your friends & family!

*Ají peppers are a common pepper used in Perú and can be found on Amazon or in international specialty food stores. In this recipe you can use dry ground ají panca or ají panca paste. If you cannot get your hands on either, you may replace them for smoked paprika, but there will be a flavor difference.

Happy Thanksgiving!
- Teresa & Katherine