Joanne Weir Follow @ChefJoanneWeir

Roast Turkey with Ras El Hanout

Roast Turkey with Ras El Hanout

Serves 8


10 to 12 pound turkey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 cups chicken stock
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, peeled, coarsely chopped
6 parsley stems
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Ras El Hanout
5 bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon whole cloves (or ground cloves)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon coriander seeds (or ground coriander)
1/2 teaspoon mace
1/2 teaspoon cardamom pods (or ground cardamom)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cumin seed (or ground cumin)
1/2 teaspoon allspice berries (or ground allspice)
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon aniseed
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne


Wash turkey and pat dry.  Remove the giblets from the inside of the turkey.  Place the turkey in a large bowl or deep pan.  Combine 12 cups cold water with 12 tablespoons kosher salt.  Stir to dissolve the salt.  Pour the water over the turkey until it is completely submerged.  If the turkey isn't completely submerged, make another mixture of cold water and kosher salt.  For each 1 cup of water, use 1 tablespoon kosher salt.  Continue to add water until the turkey is completely submerged.  Place the pan containing the turkey in the refrigerator.  Refrigerate for 1 to 2 days.

Remove the turkey from the refrigerator.  Remove the turkey from the pan and pat dry with paper towels.  Place on a cooling rack set on a baking sheet.  Place in the refrigerator uncovered for 24 hours.

Place turkey neck, gizzard, heart, chicken stock, onion, carrot, parsley stems, thyme and bay leaf in a saucepan and simmer over low heat until the stock reduces by three-quarters, 1 1/2 hours.  Strain.

Make Ras El Hanout. Grind all of the ingredients with a mortar and pestle or spice mill for 1 minute.

Preheat an oven to 400F. Truss the turkey.  Place on a rack in a shallow roasting pan.  Rub 3 tablespoons of the Ras El Hanout all over the turkey, including under the skin. Save the remaining Ras El Hanout for another use. Melt butter in a saucepan.  Cut a double piece of cheesecloth so that you create a tent for the turkey that completely covers the turkey and can be tucked into the pan around the turkey.  Place the cheesecloth in the saucepan of melted butter until it is completely submerged.  Drape the cheesecloth over the turkey and tuck the edges into the pan and around the turkey.  Cook the turkey in the middle of the oven for 45 minutes.  Reduce the heat to 325F.  Continue to roast until the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with a skewer.  Check the internal temperature by inserting an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh.  It should register 170 to 175ºF.

Remove the turkey from the oven and let rest 20 minutes.  Remove the cheesecloth.  Remove turkey from pan.  Reserve 2 tablespoons fat and drippings from pan and discard remainder.  Whisk the flour, cornstarch and 1/2 cup stock together and add to heated roasting pan, whisking constantly.  Add remaining stock and continue to stir until thickened, 2 minutes.  Continue to simmer 1 minute.

Remove the stuffing from cavity.  Carve the turkey and place on a platter with stuffing.  Serve the gravy separately.