Nov 20, 2018  By Jewish National Fund  Category: Education,

In the JNF Kitchen: Roast turkey, Mousa style

This special Thanksgiving-themed recipe of the week comes to us from La Boite, a biscuits and spices shop in New York City owned by Israeli chef and spice blender Lior Lev Sercarz

Lior and La Boite have gained international fame for mixing spices in a unique way and selling some of the world's rarest blends. Lior opened his culinary superstore after traveling and studying around the globe. His latest venture, along with Jewish National Fund-USA, is Beit Asher, a Food Innovation and Technology Center and the JNF-USA Institute of Culinary Arts in Israel's Upper Eastern Galilee. 

This initiative, which is also in partnership with, ii2020, an Israeli NGO, aims to focus on bringing food technology and innovation, business accelerators and incubators, and a world-class Institute of Culinary Arts to the Upper Eastern Galilee. With this rollout, Jewish National Fund is playing a direct role in changing the narrative and landscape for the region by creating employment, bringing new residents, and changing the look, feel, and spirit of the area.
In celebration of breaking ground on this amazing new project, we bring you a Lior-original turkey recipe for Thanksgiving, including one of La Boite's unique spice blends.

Enjoy this #RecipeOfTheWeek, and if you make any of these recipes, be sure to send a photo of your creation to or tweet it to @JNFUSA with the hashtag #JNFfoodie. We might share it!

Roast turkey, Mousa style

Serves 8 to 10 

1 ½-ounce container Mousa N.30 spice blend*
4 tablespoons fine sea salt
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 12- to 14-pound fresh or frozen, defrosted turkey
½ cup ¼-inch dice carrots
½ cup ¼-inch dice onions
1 head of garlic cut in half
1 sprig fresh rosemary 
2 sprigs fresh thyme 
2 sticks butter, cut into ½-inch dice

Lior's Mousa spice blend
*This is one of Lior's special spice blends. If you can't get your hands on it, you can mix equal parts onion, saffron, parsley and salt. 

In a mixing bowl combine the Mousa blend and salt. Rub the turkey with the vegetable oil, then rub with the spice-salt mix, making sure to season the interior of the bird. Place the turkey in a large roasting pan, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, remove the turkey from the refrigerator and bring it to room temperature, about 1 hour. 

Preheat the oven to 325° F, and place the rack in the center of the oven.

Place the turkey in the center of a large roasting pan. Scatter the carrots, onions, garlic, rosemary and thyme, then dot the turkey with the butter. Place the turkey in the center of the oven and bake for about 2½ to 3 hours, while basting the bird with the cooking juices in the pan every half hour. After 2½ hours, check the temperature using a meat thermometer. The turkey is done when the internal temperature taken in the thickest part of the breast is 165° F. (If your turkey has a "built in" pop-up thermometer, you may choose to trust it, though a meat thermometer will ensure greater accuracy.)

Remove the pan from the oven, and allow the turkey to rest 20 to 30 minutes before carving.

Tips and ideas:

Strain the cooking juices from the pan and use to make delicious gravy.
Save the leftover meat for cold turkey sandwiches.
Make a spread for sandwiches or to use as a salad dressing, by mixing 1 tablespoon Mousa blend with 1 cup mayonnaise.