New Orleans turkey



20 min


4 hrs 15 min


8 to 10

If you've always wanted to experiment with southern-style spices, try them on your Thanksgiving turkey. All you need is a bottle of Cajun spice mix (or make your own) as an easy rub for the skin and a shot of bourbon to douse the bird.


  • 6- to 7-kg turkey
  • Generous pinch salt
  • Generous pinch pepper
  • 12 cups Pecan Stuffing
  • 3 tbsp butter , at room temperature
  • 1 cup bourbon
  • 284-mL can undiluted chicken broth


  • Preheat oven to 325F. Remove neck and bag of giblets from turkey. Discard or use for stock. Rinse bird inside and out under cold water. Pat dry. Season body cavity with salt and pepper. Place bird in a roasting pan, breast-side down.
  • Stuff neck cavity with enough Pecan Stuffing to just fill. Do not overstuff, as stuffing expands as it cooks. Bring neck skin up over back. Sew shut or fasten with skewers or sturdy toothpicks. Turn bird breast-side up to stuff body cavity. Add enough stuffing to completely fill cavity. Sew shut or fasten with skewers or tuck legs under skin flap, if there is one. Tuck wing tips under bird.
  • In a small bowl, stir Cajun spice with butter until evenly mixed. Smear mixture all over turkey. Pour bourbon and broth into pan (not over bird). Cover with 2 large pieces of foil, sealing tightly to pan edges. Roast in centre of oven for 2 hours. Then remove foil and baste turkey with pan juices. Continue to roast, uncovered and basting occasionally, until drumstick moves easily at joint and a meat thermometer inserted into thigh reads 180F. This will take 2 to 2 1/2 more hours, depending on size of bird. Baste often. If turkey is browning too much in one area, cover with little pieces of foil. Remove turkey to a cutting board. Loosely cover with foil and let stand at least 15 minutes before carving.


How to carve turkey

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 933,
  • Protein
  • 87 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 36 g,
  • Fat
  • 48 g,
  • Sodium
  • 1188 mg.

Great bourbon gravy
While turkey is standing, make gravy. Skim off and discard any fat from top of bourbon-laced pan juices. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in 1/4 cup all-purpose flour to form a thick paste. Stir constantly until bubbly, 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly whisk in strained pan juices, a little at a time, making sure mixture is very smooth before adding more liquid. This helps to prevent lumps. Stop adding pan juices once gravy is as thick as you like. (Save any remaining liquid to use as a base for soup, if you wish.) Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring often to develop flavour, 5 to 8 minutes. If gravy becomes too thick, thin with more pan juices or 1 to 2 tablespoons more bourbon, if you like.

Baking extra stuffing
Place extra stuffing in a casserole dish or pie plate. Moisten with chicken broth. Cover with foil. Heat in oven with turkey during last 30 to 60 minutes of roasting until heated through. Or cover with plastic wrap and heat in microwave at medium-high.

Homemade Cajun spice
In a small bowl, stir 1 tablespoon each paprika, dried thyme, dried basil leaves and garlic powder with 2 teaspoons cayenne.