Moroccan Turkey flavoring suggestions?

Because I'm doing low sodium this year, I figured we'd punch up the flavor with spices, so I'm going Moroccan with the turkey. Should I use a spice blend on the turkey we are going to smoke and baste/glaze with a lemon harissa sauce or just add the harissa to the spice rub and smoke? Can't decide.

TJ Rohers


Nancy November 17, 2021
TH Rohers - just FYI. A bunch (dozen or so) tested versions of Turkey with ras el hanout or Moroccan flavors, from the likes of Chef Marcus Samuelson, the BBC, epicurious, the spruce eats, home food bloggers.
Also, the Food and Wine article has a slide show of global turkey recipes, if you decide you want a turkey from another cuisine.
702551 November 16, 2021
This is entirely your call and should be based on your personal flavor preferences and those who will be joining you at your dinner table.

Personally, I'm not a big fan of massive flavor bombs: you have spice, smoke and lemon harissa here. I generally prefer more subtlety or prefer one/two primary flavors to stand out but I know that I am in the minority here.

That said, turkey is an insipid meat so maybe it'll be fine with all three if you are adept at balancing all three flavor elements.

In the end, your primary objective is to please the people who will be eating it so choose wisely.

Best of luck.
Nancy November 16, 2021
Though I haven't smoked food with them, I have often cooked with both spice blends and sauces from Morocco/North Africa
I think you will get better depth of flavor and complexity by smoking the turkey with a spice blend (ras el hanout - for home made recipe see Paula Wolfert, epicurious or the spruce eats) and some fat (olive oil or chicken fat).
Then serve the lemon harissa as a sauce at table.
PS - I fear that using the lemon harissa in the smoker will either not give you enough flavor or that- if you use enough to penetrate the turkey- it will be too strong or too simple.
TJ R. November 18, 2021
Thanks! I usually defer to Paula Wolfert for Moroccan things.
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