Maple Harissa Roasted Turkey

3 hours / overnightServes 6-8
Maple Harissa Roasted Turkey


  • 12 lb fresh turkey
  • ⅓ c kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, divided
  • 4 tbsp harissa chili paste, divided
  • ⅓ c maple syrup
  • ⅓ c red wine vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 lemon


Prepare your bird the night before: Combine salt and brown sugar in a small bowl and liberally coat turkey skin and cavity. Position turkey (breast side up) in roasting pan with rack and place in fridge to dry brine overnight.

Turkey Day Prep: At least four hours before dinner, take your turkey out of the fridge and allow to come to room temperature, about 45 minutes to 1 hr. Bring 1 stick of butter to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 400°F. In a small bowl, combine one stick of room temperature butter with 2 tbsp Harissa paste. Mix until well incorporated.

Using your fingers, gently separate skin from breast meat, being careful not to puncture or remove completely. Place about 1/4 c of Harissa butter under the skin of each breast, smoothing it throughout as much as possible. Use any remaining harissa butter to rub over outside of turkey. Tie ends of legs together with kitchen twine.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, make the basting glaze by combining remaining stick of butter, maple syrup, red wine vinegar, remaining 2 tbsp harissa paste and crushed garlic. Using a pastry brush, coat the skin side of turkey completely with glaze before placing in oven (there should be plenty of glaze remaining). Reduce heat to low to keep glaze warm.

Place turkey in preheated oven and roast for 25 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 350°F. Baste turkey with glaze and cover breasts (not wings or legs) with tin foil. Return to oven and continue to roast, basting every 20-30 minutes (including area under foil) until internal temperature reaches 160°F, about 2.5 hours. Allow to rest 30 minutes before carving. Serve with a squeeze of lemon.

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