by Teal Graham
Everyone is caught up in the belief that folks in Louisiana all deep fry their turkeys. You have people all over the world trying to get that wonderful fried Cajun turkey but instead burning down their house.
We don’t want you to burn down your house and we are here to tell you that most Louisianians are not deep frying their turkeys. They are using an oven like the rest of America. Here is a recipe that uses those great Cajun French inspired flavors that is easy and simple that anyone can do.
3 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
½ cup butter, softened
1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
½ cup chicken broth
And the star of the show; 1 (12- to 15-lb.) whole fresh or frozen turkey, thawed
Your turkey must be completely thawed. To do this you have to let it defrost naturally which may take a couple of days depends on the temperatures where you live. Do not microwave, boil, place in an oven, or anything else to make it go faster. There are no short cuts.
Once your turkey is completely thawed remove the gravy package and giblets from the neck of the turkey. Then clean the inside and outside of the turkey by rising it with cold water. Next with a clean paper towel pat the turkey dry to remove any moisture from the skin.
In a separate bowl add all the dried spices: salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, dried oregano, paprika and dark brown sugar. Mix together thoroughly in a bowl. This will be the dry rub that is to be added to your turkey later.
Place the turkey into a large roasting pan with a rack. Once the turkey skin is thoroughly dry, season the inside of the cavity with a tablespoon of the dry rub mixture. Then rub another tablespoon of the mixture on the outer skin of the turkey. This will need to chill uncovered for 12 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
Remove the turkey from the refrigerator and let stand for 1 hour at room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit.
Next coarsely chop celery, bell pepper, and onion. Now mix your coarsely chopped vegetables together. Fill turkey cavity with vegetable mixture.
Mix together butter and 1 tablespoon of the dried spiced mixture. Using your hands gently massage the buttered spiced rub all over the turkey. Make sure to cover the entire turkey. This is how you are going to get that crispy skin.
Mix the remaining spice rub mixture with chicken broth and butter. Fill your turkey injector and inject liquid throughout the turkey especially the breast. This will prevent the turkey from being dry.
Roast at 350°, basting and injecting occasionally as needed for 3 hours and 30 minutes or until the thermometer indicator that comes with most commercial turkeys at the grocery store pops up. If you have a meat thermometer insert into thickest part of thigh and look for a temperature of 165°F. Remove from oven and allow to stand for 30 minutes before carving.
Now you will have a wonderful authentic Cajun turkey with all of those great flavors that is easy to make and you didn't have to burn down your house to get it.