Harissa-rubbed turkey breast with mashed sweet potatoes recipe

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Turkey and gravy is classic, but this versatile protein also takes well to stronger flavors. And with our Dutch oven we could achieve not only a perfect roast turkey breast, but also a distinctive side dish to accompany it. We found inspiration for this complete meal in North Africa, where the chile paste known as harissa is a common condiment.

  • Yield: 8 Servings
  • Total Time: 3 Hours 30 Minutes


  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground dried Aleppo pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¾ teaspoon caraway seeds
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 (5- to 6-pound) bone-in turkey breast
  • 4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾-inch pieces
  • ⅓ cup half-and-half, warmed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
How to Make It
  1. Microwave 6 tablespoons oil, garlic, paprika, coriander, Aleppo pepper, cumin, caraway seeds, and 1½ teaspoons salt in bowl until bubbling and very fragrant, about 1 minute, stirring halfway through microwaving. Let cool to room temperature. Measure out and reserve ¼ cup harissa for serving.
  2. Place turkey breast on counter, skin side down. Using kitchen shears, cut through ribs, following vertical line of fat where breast meets back, from tapered end of breast to wing joint. Using your hands, bend back away from breast to pop shoulder joints out of sockets. Using paring knife, cut through joints between bones to separate back from breast; discard back. Trim excess fat from breast.
  3. Place breast, skin side up, on counter. Using your fingers, carefully loosen and separate turkey skin from each side of breast. Peel back skin, leaving it attached at top and center of breast. Rub 1 tablespoon remaining harissa onto each side of breast, then place skin back over meat. Rub 1 tablespoon remaining harissa onto underside of breast cavity. Place turkey on large plate and refrigerate, uncovered, for 1 hour.
  4. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Toss potatoes with remaining 2 tablespoons oil and ½ teaspoon salt, then arrange in even layer in Dutch oven. Pat turkey dry with paper towels and brush with remaining 1 tablespoon harissa. Place turkey, skin side up, on top of potatoes. Transfer pot to oven and roast, uncovered, until turkey registers 130 degrees, 1 to 1¼ hours.
  5. Remove pot from oven and increase oven temperature to 500 degrees. When oven reaches 500 degrees, return pot to oven and roast, uncovered, until turkey skin is deeply browned and breast registers 160 degrees, 15 to 30 minutes.
  6. Remove pot from oven. Transfer turkey to carving board and let rest for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, using potato masher, mash potatoes until smooth; cover to keep warm.
  7. Stir warm half-and-half and cilantro into potatoes, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Carve turkey and serve with potatoes, passing reserved harissa separately.

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