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Pavo Alcaparrado: A Delicious Spanish Twist on Roast TurkeyCustom Message:

Pavo Alcaparrado is a delicious and unique twist on traditional roast turkey. This recipe originates from Spain and features a mouth-watering combination of flavors, including capers, olives, and a hint of citrus. Perfect for a special occasion or holiday feast, this dish will impress your guests and leave them asking for more. So, get ready to embark on a culinary journey and create a memorable dining experience with this step-by-step guide to making Pavo Alcaparrado.


Outline Table
About Pavo Alcaparrado– Origin
– Unique Ingredients
Ingredients & Substitutes– Turkey
– Capers
– Olives
– Other Ingredients
Preparation Steps– Brining (optional)
– Stuffing & Trussing
– Roasting
– Resting & Carving
Cooking Methods & Techniques– Brining Techniques
– Stuffing & Trussing Tips
– Roasting Tips
– Carving Tips
Serving Suggestions & Accompaniments– Sauces
– Side Dishes
– Presentation Ideas
Benefits & Variations– Health Benefits
– Recipe Variations
Tips, Tricks & Troubleshooting– Common Problems & Solutions
– Storage & Reheating
– Leftover Ideas

Pavo Alcaparrado: A Delicious Spanish Twist on Roast Turkey

About Pavo Alcaparrado

Origin: Pavo Alcaparrado is a traditional Spanish dish that translates to “Turkey with Capers.” It is a unique and flavorful take on the classic roast turkey, originating from the southern regions of Spain. This dish combines the juicy flavors of roasted turkey with the briny, tangy notes of capers and olives, resulting in a mouth-watering creation that will tantalize your taste buds.

Unique Ingredients: What sets Pavo Alcaparrado apart from your everyday roast turkey are the star ingredients: capers and olives. Capers, native to the Mediterranean, add a burst of flavor with their tangy, salty, and slightly acidic taste. Green or black olives contribute a fruity, savory, and slightly bitter flavor, creating a complex and intriguing dish.

Ingredients & Substitutes


  • For this recipe, you’ll need a whole turkey, preferably fresh and of good quality. Aim for a size that accommodates the number of guests you plan to serve, allowing for some leftovers, as this dish is even more delicious the next day!


  • Capers are key to the distinctive flavor of Pavo Alcaparrado. Look for brine-packed or salt-packed capers, which offer the best flavor. Rinse them briefly before use to tone down the saltiness and bring out their tangy notes.


  • Green or black olives (or a mix of both) add a beautiful contrast of color and flavor to the dish. Use good-quality pitted olives, roughly chopped, to ensure they distribute evenly throughout the recipe.

Other Ingredients:

  • Besides the turkey, capers, and olives, you’ll need a few other fresh ingredients to complete the recipe. These include citrus fruits (such as oranges and lemons), onions, garlic, fresh herbs (like rosemary and thyme), butter or oil, and chicken or turkey stock.

Preparation Steps

Brining (optional):

  • Brining the turkey is an optional step but one that can enhance juiciness and flavor. It involves submerging the turkey in a saltwater solution for several hours or overnight. If you choose to brine, do so before stuffing and trussing.

Stuffing & Trussing:

  • Stuffing the cavity of the turkey with a mixture of aromatics and herbs enhances the flavor and moisture of the meat. You can use a combination of onions, citrus fruits, garlic, and herbs. Trussing the turkey, or securing it with kitchen twine, ensures even cooking and a beautiful presentation.


  • Roasting the turkey is the star of this recipe. Follow a slow-roasting method at a lower temperature to ensure the meat cooks evenly and remains juicy. Baste the turkey regularly with pan juices or butter to create a golden, crispy skin.

Resting & Carving:

  • Allowing the roasted turkey to rest before carving is crucial. This step lets the juices redistribute, ensuring moist and tender meat. Carve the turkey using a sharp knife, separating the legs, thighs, and breasts, and arranging them attractively on a platter.

Cooking Methods & Techniques

Brining Techniques:

  • If you decide to brine the turkey, use a ratio of 1 cup of salt (either table salt or kosher salt) to 1 gallon of water. Fully submerge the turkey in this solution, ensuring it is covered. Brine the turkey in a large pot or a brining bag, and keep it refrigerated during the entire brining process.

Stuffing & Trussing Tips:

  • For stuffing, slice onions, oranges, and lemons into wedges, and crush a few garlic cloves. Mix these with fresh rosemary and thyme. Stuff the cavity of the turkey generously, and truss the bird securely, tying the legs together and tucking the wings under for even cooking.

Roasting Tips:

  • Preheat your oven to 325°F (160°C). Place the trussed turkey on a rack in a roasting pan, breast side up. Roast the turkey slowly, allowing approximately 15 minutes per pound of turkey. Baste the turkey regularly with pan juices, butter, or a mixture of melted butter and olive oil.

Carving Tips:

  • Let the roasted turkey rest for at least 20–30 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to settle, ensuring moist and flavorful meat. Use a sharp carving knife and a fork to steady the meat as you slice. Start by removing the legs and thighs, followed by the breasts, slicing them against the grain for maximum tenderness.

Serving Suggestions & Accompaniments


  • A simple gravy made from the pan juices is a classic accompaniment to Pavo Alcaparrado. You can also offer additional sauces like a tangy cranberry sauce or a rich, herby jus to complement the flavors of the dish.

Side Dishes:

  • Serve the turkey with a selection of side dishes, such as roasted vegetables (think carrots, parsnips, and potatoes), rice pilaf, or a fresh green salad. Don’t forget the condiments, like chutneys or relishes, to add extra flavor and texture to the meal.

Presentation Ideas:

  • Present the carved turkey on a large platter, surrounded by the caper and olive mixture, with a sprinkle of fresh herbs for added color and flavor. Garnish with citrus wedges and a few whole capers and olives for a stunning visual impact.

Benefits & Variations

Health Benefits:

  • Pavo Alcaparrado offers a nutritious and well-balanced meal. Turkey is an excellent source of lean protein, while capers and olives provide healthy fats and antioxidants. The dish also supplies a good amount of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B, zinc, and selenium.

Recipe Variations:

  • While the classic Pavo Alcaparrado is a delight, you can experiment with variations. Try using different types of olives or adding a splash of wine to the roasting pan for extra flavor. You can also incorporate other herbs like sage or marjoram to suit your taste.

Tips, Tricks & Troubleshooting

Common Problems & Solutions:

  • If your turkey is looking a little pale, increase the heat slightly for the last 20 minutes of roasting to encourage browning.
  • For a moister bird, try brining or basting more frequently during roasting.
  • To ensure even cooking, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the thickest part of the thigh; it should reach 165°F (74°C).

Storage & Reheating:

  • Store leftover turkey and stuffing separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently in the oven or microwave, ensuring the meat is heated through.

Leftover Ideas:

  • Leftovers are a treat, too! Use leftover turkey in sandwiches, salads, or casseroles. Create a delicious turkey soup or turn leftovers into tasty pot pies.


Pavo Alcaparrado is a delightful and unique twist on the traditional roast turkey, perfect for special occasions and holiday gatherings. The combination of juicy turkey, tangy capers, and fruity olives creates a memorable dining experience. With this step-by-step guide, you can confidently prepare and serve this Spanish specialty, impressing your guests with a flavorful and beautiful meal they’ll long remember.


  1. What is Pavo Alcaparrado, and what makes it unique?
    Pavo Alcaparrado is a traditional Spanish dish featuring roast turkey with a tangy twist. What sets it apart are the capers and olives used in the recipe, adding a burst of flavor and a unique, mouth-watering dimension to the classic roast turkey.
  2. Can I make this recipe with a smaller or larger turkey?
    Absolutely! This recipe can be adapted for different-sized turkeys. Simply adjust the roasting time accordingly, allowing approximately 15 minutes per pound of turkey. For a smaller bird, you may also want to reduce the amount of stuffing and adjust the brine concentration if brining.
  3. What are some good side dishes to serve with Pavo Alcaparrado?
    A variety of side dishes complement Pavo Alcaparrado beautifully. Roasted vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips, and potatoes, are excellent choices. Rice pilaf, quinoa salads, and fresh green salads also pair well. Don’t forget to include some condiments like chutneys or relishes for added flavor and texture.
  4. How can I make this recipe ahead of time?
    Pavo Alcaparrado can be partially prepared ahead of time. You can brine the turkey, make the stuffing, and truss the bird in advance. Store the brined turkey and stuffing separately in the refrigerator until you’re ready to roast. This saves time and makes the final preparation smoother.
  5. What should I do with leftovers?
    Leftovers are a treat and can be used in numerous ways. Create tasty sandwiches, salads, casseroles, or soups using leftover turkey. You can also make pot pies or turn leftover meat into delicious tacos or quesadillas. Store leftovers in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


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