Rubbed with butter and a homemade Cajun spice blend, this turkey will be the star of your Thanksgiving dinner.
Cajun Spiced Turkey
Makes 10 to 12 servings
- 1 (12- to 14-pound) whole turkey, giblets and neck discarded
- ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 8 tablespoons Cajun Spice Mix (recipe follows), divided
- 2 cups chopped yellow onion (about 1 large onion)
- 1½ cups chopped celery (about 3 stalks celery)
- 1 cup chopped green bell pepper (about 1 medium bell pepper)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Line a large roasting pan with foil. Place a V-shaped roasting rack over foil, and spray with cooking spray. Place turkey, breast side up, on prepared rack, and pat dry with paper towels.
- In a medium bowl, stir together butter and 2 tablespoons Cajun Spice Mix. Gently loosen skin from turkey, keeping skin intact. Rub butter evenly mixture under skin on each breast. Pat turkey dry, and sprinkle all over with remaining 6 tablespoons Cajun Spice Mix, rubbing it into the skin. Tie legs with butcher’s twine. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 12 hours or up to 24 hours.
- Let turkey stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
- Position oven rack to lowest level. Preheat oven to 375°.
- In a medium bowl, combine onion, celery, and bell pepper. Fill turkey cavity with vegetable mixture, scattering any remaining vegetables across bottom of roasting pan. Brush turkey with oil.
- Bake for 1 hour. Rotate pan, and bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest portion of thigh registers 165°, 1 to 1½ hours more, covering with foil to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Transfer turkey to platter, and let stand for at least 20 minutes before carving.
Cajun Spice Mix
Makes About ⅔ Cup
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons onion powder
- 4 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground oregano
- 2 teaspoons ground thyme
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard
- ½ teaspoon celery salt
- ½ teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper
- In a medium bowl, stir together all ingredients. Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.