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Chef Santiago Vargas' Peruvian Baked Turkey Chef Santiago Vargas' Peruvian Baked Turkey

Chef Santiago Vargas' Peruvian Baked Turkey

Peru is a country that shares several influences in its cuisine, from African, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, and Italian. It has a diverse number of microclimates and soil conditions that allow the growth of various vegetables, fruits, and other crops valuable for extensive gastronomy. Hence, the success of the Peruvian fusion with other cuisines. It allows a depth of flavor like no other and elevates the dishes, giving them an authentic and original twist.

Chef Santiago’s Peruvian Turkey is going to become your new tradition too. Rosemary, thyme, oregano and cumin are classic spices used in everyday cooking in Peru, and they lend themselves perfectly to roasted turkey. We hope this recipe conveys the warmth and love Chef Santiago feels when he’s with his family both in Peru and in the US.

But you don't have to wait for the holidays for some Peruvian spice in your life, Chef Santiago not only has a catering company, Mikasa, in western NC, he also has a little taste of Peru in the S&W building called Mikasa Criolla in down own Asheville where you can get his Peruvian turkey recipe in a panini.


For the Brine:
1 Turkey from 9 to 11 lbs.
1 Water to cover the turkey
1 cup kosher salt
Spicewalla bay leaves
4 cloves of crushed fresh garlic


For the Marinade:
1 Tbsp honey
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp Spicewalla granulated garlic
2 Tbsp Aji panca paste
1 Tbsp orange juice
3 cups of white wine
2 Tbsp Lime juice
2 Tbsp yellow Mustard
1 Tbsp Spicewalla mexican Oregano
1 Tbsp Spicewalla Rosemary
1 Tbsp Spicewalla Thyme
4 Tbsp Salt
1/2 Tbsp Spicewalla white pepper
1/4 tsp Spicewalla cumin powder 
1 Apple
8 oz Salted Butter



  1. Mix water and salt in cool water in a large, clean stockpot until completely dissolved. Place the whole turkey in the brine until completely submerged, add the bay leaves and fresh garlic. Cover and refrigerate overnight, up to 12 hrs.
  2. Then wash, dry, and it is ready to be smeared with the following marinade mix: honey, soy sauce, ground garlic, aji panca paste, orange juice, 1 cup of white wine, lime juice, yellow mustard, oregano, rosemary, thyme, kosher salt, cumin and, white pepper. Marinade about 4hr. Add the apple inside the turkey.
  3. Once all the flavors are on all sides, place the turkey in the oven over 325*C for approx 3hrs.
  4. Brush the turkey with melted butter every 30 minutes for the entire duration of cooking and add white wine if you need it, to have the juice to make gravy.


  • Hi Candace,
    We love this idea and cant want to see what we come up with. Fingers crossed we can source some unique Peruvian peppers and spices!

    -Spicewalla fam

    Spicewalla Fam on
  • Can you come up with a Peru poultry mix to use with baked chicken. Aji is a nice spicy flavor, that is unique.

    Candace Gras on

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