Turkey can be a plain here is a wonderful recipe to spice up your bird, the secret to a flavorful and moist turkey is in the brine. Then we make a beautiful rich flavorful and great flavored gravy. It is a good idea to do this the night before your turkey dinner. Fresh herbs really are the best choice if you have them in the garden.
Cajun Turkey spice mixture
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon mustard powder
- 4 teaspoons cayenne pepper
To make the Cajun Turkey spice mixture, in a small bowl, mix all the ingredients to blend. This gives your Cajun turkey a lovely golden brown finish.
CAJUN Turkey and gravy
- 6 quarts cold water
- One 12-ounce bottle amber ale beer, room temperature
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 3 rosemary sprigs, divided
- One 14- to 16-pound whole turkey
- 3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
- 2 green bell peppers, seeded, coarsely chopped
- 2 yellow onions, coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided
- 4 cups homemade turkey stock or reduced-sodium chicken stock
- 3 thyme sprigs
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
To brine the turkey:
In a large pot, bring 1 quart of water to a boil over high heat. Add the beer, sugar, and 1/3 cup of the spice mixture and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add 2 rosemary sprigs and remove from the heat.
Pour the hot brine into a container large enough to hold the turkey and add the remaining 5 quarts of cold water to cool the brine. Place the turkey into the brine, making sure it is entirely submerged. Cover the container tightly with a lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 12 hours or overnight
When you are ready to cook the turkey preheat the oven to 350˚F.
Remove the turkey from the brine and discard the brine, reserving the rosemary sprigs, and then pat the turkey skin dry with a clean towel. Stuff the main turkey cavity with half of the chopped celery, bell pepper, onion, and reserved brined rosemary sprigs, and tie the turkey legs together with butcher’s twine, this make the turkey cook more evenly..
In a small heavy saucepan, melt 1/2 cup (1 stick) of the butter. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in 2 tablespoons of the spice mixture.
Place the remaining celery, bell pepper, and onion in a large roasting pan with a rack. Set the roasting rack in the pan and place the turkey on the rack. Brush some of the spiced butter all over the turkey.
Cover the pan with aluminum foil and roast the turkey for 1 hour and 40 minutes. Baste the turkey and continue roasting uncovered for about 1 hour and 20 minutes longer, or until a meat thermometer reads 160°F when inserted into the part of the thigh nearest to the thigh and hip joint.
Transfer the turkey to a carving board (do not clean out the roasting pan), and rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before carving.
Roast your turkey breast down for at least half the time the turkey is roasting in the oven. Breast meat is lean and tends to overcook, but when upside down it is protected from the direct heat of the oven plus it gets basted from the natural juices that drip down to the bottom of the pan.
Set the roasting pan on the stove over medium-high heat. Add the chicken stock, thyme sprigs, and remaining rosemary sprig to the pan drippings in the roasting pan, and bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring often to scrape up the brown bits. Strain the pan juices, and discard all the solids. Spoon off the fat that has settled to the top of the pan juices.
In a medium heavy saucepan, melt the remaining 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) of butter over medium heat. Stir in the remaining 2 teaspoons of the spice mixture (reserve any extra spice mixture for another use) and cook for about 30 seconds, or until fragrant and toasted. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring often, for about 2 minutes. Whisk in the pan juices and bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the gravy thickens slightly. Season the gravy to taste with salt and pepper.
Carve the turkey and serve it with the gravy.
Low Sodium Gravy
There is no need to add so many calories in your gravy, here is a low sodium gravy that makes your meal taste so moist and delicious.
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 bouquet of herbs (3 springs time, 1 sprig rosemary, 2 bay leaves, 4 sprigs sage, 2 sprigs fresh oregano tied with kitchen twine into a bundle)
- 2 cloves roasted garlic (optional)
- Low sodium soya sauce
- pepper, to taste
- 3/4 tsp. xanthan gum
- Let all of the ingredients simmer (minus the xanthan) over low heat for about 10 minutes with the lid on so it doesn’t evaporate.
- Turn off the heat and let it cool down slightly.
- Transfer hot liquid to a blender and while the blender is running, sprinkle the xanthan into the mixture to thicken.
Process the gravy
Nobody wants lumps in their gravy. To spare yourself complaints or gossip, put your gravy through a food processor.
Keep gravy in a thermosFew things are better than warm gravy over a properly prepared turkey but cold gravy can be the weak link that holds dinner back from greatness. Keep gravy warm in a thermos before you’re ready to serve it.Low Sodium Thanksgiving Side Dishes
Here is a Green Bean and Caramelized Onion recipe that is perfect for a Thanksgiving side dish a low sodium version of this great dish.
Try this Sweet Potato Casserole recipe , it is very low in sodium and so tasty.
Finally Corn on the Cobb but this is made in your slow cooker and is absolutely fantastic and so easy.
Lets not forget dessert here is an Apple Pie recipe that is just a great way to finish your Thanksgiving day.