220 – Roasted Turkey with Moroccan Chermoula – Thanksgiving Recipe
- 12-13 pounds fresh Turkey
- 1-2 preserved lemons (optional)
- Spices: 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric, a large pinch of saffron, salt, pepper
- 1 stick (113 grams) softened butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves (crushed)
- 1/4 cup of finely chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup of finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1/4 cup of finely chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- Infused butter: 1 stick (113 grams) softened butter and 2 bay leaves
- 1 onion, peeled and cut into quarters
- 1 bouquet of mint
- 1 bouquet of cilantro
- A few branches of rosemary
- 1 lemon
Step 1: Making the Butter Spice Mixture with Chermoula Spices
1- Quarter the preserved lemon(s), remove the pulp (without breaking the skin – keep the skin for decoration), and chop the pulp using a kitchen knife.
2- In a bowl, mix the pulp with the soften butter until well incorporated. Add the spices (ginger, turmeric, saffron, salt, and pepper) and continue mixing.
3- Add the olive oil and garlic to the butter mixture, and continue mixing.
4- Add the chopped cilantro, parsley, and mint to the butter mixture. Continue mixing.
5- Add the lemon juice and continue mixing.
Step 2: Preparing the Turkey
1- Place the turkey in a large baking pan that fits it. Gently, using your fingers, create a poket between the skin and the meat. Start inserting your fingers from the neck side and gently create that pocket.
2- Stuff the pocket of space between the skin and meat of the turkey with the butter mixture (it should be all inside the breast area). Gently massage the turkey skin (from outside) to get the butter mixture distributed.
3- Rub the leftover butter mixture all over the turkey.
4- Melt butter with bay leaves. You can use a stove or microwave to melt the butter. Let the butter sit for 1 minute after melting it so all the falvors of by leaves get integrated in the butter.
5- Brush the turkey with the butter bay leaves mixture. Pour the rest in the pan around the turkey.
6- Season the turkey with salt and pepper.
7- Stuff the turkey (inside the bird) with the bouquet of cilantro, mint, the rosemary branches, the onion, and lemon quarters.
8- Tie the turkey legs with a kitchen thread and tuck in the wings underneath the turkey.
9- Let the turkey rest on your counter for 1 hour. (optional)
10- Take a piece of foil and shape it into a triangle that fits the turkey breast – we will use it later.
Step 3: Roasting the Turkey
1- Place Preheat your oven to 500 F (260 C) degrees while the turkey is resting. Insert a kitchen thermometer stick in the thickest part of the turkey (the breast area).
2- When the oven is pre-heated, insert the turkey in the oven (legs first), uncovered.
3 Let the turkey roast for 30 minutes.
4- After 30 minutes, cover the turkey breast with the foil that we have shaped earlier, reduce the heat of the oven from 500 F to 350 F (180 C) degrees then continue roasting the turkey for about 2:30 hours until the thermometer reads 161 F (72 C) which is the temperature that the turkey breast should reach before it is done. So just keep checking on the thermometer – no basting of the turkey is needed.
5- 10 minutes before the turkey is done, remove the foil and let it roast to get a final nice color.
6- Once done, let the turkey reast on the counter for 30 minutes before carving it so that the juices are all back and the meat is tender.