Hot, Spicy, Tangy Cajun-Injected Turkey Recipe – Growing up in the northeastern U.S. and celebrating every Thanksgiving ravaging traditional NE America’s thanksgiving cuisine, you can not imagine the somersaults my mouth did when I first tasted a Cajun-injected Thanksgiving turkey. Because of job related responsibilities, I found myself held over in Louisiana one Thanksgiving. A local colleague, not wanting to see me spend the holiday in a hotel restaurant extended his southern hospitality and invited me to share the holiday with his family. It still rates among the top three Thanksgiving meals I have eaten so far.
The food spread was immense. A complete array of traditional and nontraditional southern thanksgiving edibles laid before me; Cajun-injected turkey with giblet gravy, barbecued-shrimp pie, crayfish etoufee, herb-spiced dressing, cream style corn, corn muffin rolls, turkey gumbo and all sorts of desserts. However, upon my first taste of Cajun-injected turkey, I was blind to all else that lay before me. Looking back, I hope I did not make a fool of myself because I did not allow the turkey plate to pass me without adding more to my plate.
The outer skin was fries up nice and crisp. The dark and light turkey meat inside was the most moist and juicy I had ever had. And the taste…the Cajun flavors tantalized my taste buds unlike any turkey has done to date. A mouth expecting to savor the traditional turkey flavor of turkey was shocked into a new reality…turkey can be re flavored and it can be done so…ooh so good.
“You have got to give me the recipe for this turkey” I exclaimed again and again to the hostess. This is what she shared:
- Thoroughly wash the turkey and remove inner packing.
- Cut away excess skin and fat.
- Let the turkey dry.
- Generously apply turkey rub.
- Let turkey sit for 30 to 60 minutes in refrigerator.
- Remove from refrigerator and inject Cajun flavoring.
- Inject Cajun flavoring into entire bird.
- Left over inject flavoring is massaged into the inside and outside of bird.
- Let outside flavoring dry.
- Apply 2nd generous application of turkey rub.
- Stick 1 clove per 5 pounds around the outside of the bird.
- Sit Turkey in the refrigerator for 10 to 12 hours.
- Prep best Turkey Fryer, clean and add Peanut oil.
- Preheat oil to 325 degrees
- Fry Turkey 3-4 minutes per pound. This will cook it 90-95 percent complete.
- Remove from fryer and stuff with pre-cooked spicy-herb dressing.
- Place in a covered roaster pan and in the oven for 30 minutes to 45 minutes.
- 6 tbsp sea salt
- 6 tbsp oregano
- 6 tbsp Cayenne Pepper
- 3 tbsp garlic salt
- 3 tbsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp onion salt
- Mix ingredients together.
- Deeply massage into bird.
Cajun Turkey Injection:
- 1-2 oz Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1/4 cup Red Hot Sauce
- 2 tbsp garlic power
- 4 tbsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tbsp Tabasco Sauce
- 2 tbsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 tbsp paprika
- 4 oz bourbon
- 1 bottle vinaigrette dressing
- Mix ingredients
- Place in injector
- Inject in the bird.
Allowing the bird to sit over night enables flavor to marinades deep into its flesh.
Massaging turkey rub and Cajun injection into the skin tenderizes the bird.
Vinegar sweeten the meat.
Injecting the Cajun flavor inside the meat prevents the oil from washing away the flavor.
Peanut oil has a distinct flavor that helps increase the flavor of the meat.
Frying the turkey locks in moisture.
The short roasting after frying allows the herb-spice dressing to marinate more flavor into the meat.
The cloves adds additional spice to the flavor.
Cajun Injected Turkey remains my favorite Thanksgiving flavor. My family and I have returned to Louisiana to spend the holiday with my, now friend, and his family on more than one occasion. I have not been able to duplicate the flavor of Cajun Injected Turkey as my friends wife prepares it, but I am not discouraged. Once every few years I know I will get to experience that hot, tangy, spicy flavor that made my mouth do somersaults, again. In the mean time I will continue to work on my skills here a home and one day, I may even be able to surprise her.