Give your turkey a kick this holiday by marinating it with harissa, a spicy, aromatic chili paste widely used in North African and Middle Eastern cooking. This versatile paste can also be added to roasted vegetables, blended into hummus or dips, or stirred into soups.
Yields 1 cup
8 dried guajillo chilis, stemmed and seeded
8 dried New Mexico chilis, stemmed and seeded
½ teaspoon caraway seeds
¼ teaspoon coriander seeds
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon dried mint leaves
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
5 garlic cloves
Juice of 1 lemon
- Place chilis in medium bowl, cover with boiling water, and let sit until softened, about 20 minutes.
- Heat caraway, coriander, and cumin in skillet over medium heat. Toast spices until very fragrant, about 4 minutes.
- Transfer spices and mint to a grinder and grind to a fine powder, then set aside.
- Drain chilis and transfer to the bowl of a food processor with the ground spices, olive oil, salt, garlic, and lemon juice.
- Puree until paste is very smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Transfer to glass jar and fill with oil until ingredients are submerged by 1⁄2".
Note: Harissa Paste will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
Yields 5 pounds of Turkey Meat
10-12 pound turkey, whole
1 cup prepared Harissa Paste (above)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
3 cups water
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Place turkey on rack or roasting pan.
- Rub prepared Harissa Paste on top side of turkey.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Pour water into roasting pan.
- Cook turkey for approximately 3½ hours, or until turkey reaches proper internal temperature of 165°.
- Once proper internal temperature has been met, remove turkey from oven and allow to rest for 20 minutes before slicing.
Water in the roasting pan is for generating steam, not for basting. It will prevent the turkey from becoming dry.