Food & Wine (November 2014)
When we wrote about the Thanksgiving trend of Global Flavors, we had Marcus Samuelsson in mind.
His extended feature in Food & Wine is exactly the kind of Thanksgiving feature we just love: Familiar foods seen through a new lens. Given Chef Samuelsson's unique personal history -- born in Ethiopia, raised in Sweden, now firmly esconced in Harlem -- it's a lens unlike any other. Seriously, this has got to be the only Thanksgiving menu in history that includes Ethiopian-spiced black-eyed peas, Southern peanut pie, and mulled Swedish glögg. How much do you want to go to that Thanksgiving?
We love it! We just wish we could say the same for this Moroccan-Spiced Turkey.
We're not saying we wanted something over the top or overseasoned. We just were disappointed in the final flavor. It tasted kind of like every other turkey you've ever had.
Interestingly, the thing we (and our guests) liked the most about this dish was something that's actually not even included in the recipe: the onion jam. Chef Samuelsson recommends serving this with an onion jam, and he suggests a couple sources for where to buy a pre-made jar.
We didn't want to use pre-made onion jam (and anyway we couldn't find any locally and waited too late to order some). So we made our own. We kept thinking how great it would have been if this recipe had included instructions for making your own jam -- espeically since it's a pretty easy endeavor. We used this recipe for Moroccan Onion Jam. Sure, it includes some ingredients you might not have on hand -- rose water, date syrup. But we made some substitutions and omissions and ended up with a very tasty compote that was savory, sweet and slightly sour all at once. It was a very nice addition to the turkey.
Ultimately, we're so glad we tried this! We just wish it had been more discernably different from a basic Thanksgiving bird. If you're looking for a Thanksgiving turkey that's really exotic, we'd suggest the Tandoori Turkey we made a few years ago -- big bold flavors that really wowed us. Meanwhile, if you want a great version of a classic bird, you can't go wrong with a Spatchcocked Turkey.
>> Read the full Thanksgiving 2014 recipe index
>> Read about this year's biggest Thanksgiving trends
Active time: 30 mins | Total time: 4 hrs 45 mins
Servings: 8 to 10
- NOTES: Ras el hanout is a North African spice mixture that usually includes ginger and anise. It’s available at some grocery stores (McCormick makes a version) and from kalustyans.com. Chef Samuelsson likes Mimi’s Confitures Onion Jam (available at some specialty food shops or from food52.com).
One 12-pound turkey, patted dry
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 (See Note)
Chutney or onion jam, for serving (See Note)
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.