Moroccan-Spiced Turkey


This super-easy turkey is flavored with ras el hanout, a North African spice blend. The pan juices, flavored by the citrus-spice mixture that bastes the bird as it roasts, double as a sauce. Slideshow: Global Thanksgiving Turkeys 

Moroccan-Spiced Turkey
Photo: © Paul Costello
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs 45 mins
8 to 10


  • 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 (See Note)

  • Chutney or onion jam, for serving (See Note)


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.


Ras el hanout is a North African spice mixture that usually includes ginger and anise. It's available at some grocery stores and from Chef Samuelsson likes Mimi's Confitures Onion Jam (available at some specialty food shops or from

Suggested Pairing

Cranberry-inflected Pinot Noir.

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