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Today is Thanksgiving and I thought it would be fun to try a Moroccan inspired turkey instead of the same old boring one we make every year!

I wanted to share a recipe from Marcus Samuelsson for Moroccan-Spiced Turkey . Marcus is an awarding winning chef/restaurateur who was born in Ethiopia but was adopted and  raised in Sweden. He wrote a book called “Yes, Chef!”, about his experiences in the restaurant world, and how he honed his unique perspective on dining by combining the palates of Sweden and Ethiopia and even incorporating American ‘soul food’ into his dishes.  He has a restaurant in Harlem called Red Rooster (LOVE) and just below downstairs is Ginny’s Super Club, a cool jazzy place to have dinner.

I was inspired to post this recipe after watching an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s ‘Parts Unknown’ TV series where he went to Ethiopia with Marcus where to explore the roots of family, life and of course food! There is one scene where they visit a man covered in red dust that makes the most famous Ethiopian spice called berbere, it has a beautiful orange-red color that consists of chili peppers and other spices. In Morocco, this spice would be similar to Ras El Hanout which translates from Arabic as ‘head of the shop’, meaning that it’s a mixture of the very best spices. It’s used throughout North Africa and has a blend of anywhere between 12 to 35 different spices like cumin, cinnamon, cardamon, clove, nutmeg and more. Every family or shop has their own variation and sometimes it’s a family secret. Okay, it’s time to start preparing the  best holiday Moroccan-Spiced Turkey you’ve ever had! Enjoy.

INGREDIENTS One 12-pound turkey, patted dry Kosher salt Pepper 1 lemon, quartered 4 sage sprigs, plus 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped sage leaves 1 head of garlic, halved crosswise 1/3 cup fresh grapefruit juice 1/4 cup fresh orange juice 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 2 tablespoons ras el hanout Chutney or onion jam, for serving 


INSTRUCTIONS: Put the turkey on the rack of a roasting pan. Season the turkey cavity with salt and pepper and stuff the lemon quarters and sage sprigs inside. Tie the legs together, season the turkey all over with salt and pepper and let stand at room temperature for about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°. Wrap the garlic in foil and roast for 1 hour, until very tender. Let cool completely, then squeeze the cloves into a medium bowl. Whisk in the citrus juices along with the ras el hanout and chopped sage.

Brush the turkey all over with the citrus-garlic mixture. Roast in the lower third of the oven for 30 minutes, then baste with the citrus-garlic mixture. Reduce the oven temperature to 325° and continue to roast, basting every 30 minutes, for 2 hours and 15 minutes longer, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in an inner thigh registers 165°. Transfer the turkey to a board; let rest for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour. Carve the turkey, drizzle with any pan juices and serve with chutney.



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