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Video: Spice up Thanksgiving with a Cajun turkey

TODAY recipes
updated 11/18/2008 11:57:48 AM ET 2008-11-18T16:57:48

Forget tradition — do something different and exciting this holiday season! Since the usual turkey recipes can get boring year after year, a little Cajun influence might just spice up your  meal. Chef Jimmy Bannos of Heaven on Seven restaurant shares tasty, festive twists on holiday favorites to kick up this year's Thanksgiving dinner:

Recipe: Jimmy Bannos' Thanksgiving turkey (on this page)

Recipe: Bourbon mashed sweet potatoes (on this page)

© 2013 NBCNews

Recipe: Jimmy Bannos' Thanksgiving turkey

  • Turkey
  • 1 15-18 lb turkey
  • 6 lbs Plugra butter (or other European-style high-fat-content butter)
  • Angel Dust Cajun seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet
  • 3 tablespoons Hungarian paprika
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Spanish paprika
  • 5 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder

For Angel Dust Cajun seasoning: In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Use as needed and store in an airtight container for up to 2 months.

For turkey: Cut four of the pounds of butter into cubes. Set two pounds of the cubes aside. Carefully work your fingers between the skin and the meat of the breast. Work two pounds of butter cubes in between and distribute evenly.

Place the reserved cubed butter in the cavity of the turkey and distribute evenly.

Melt the last two pounds of butter, stir in Angel Dust and Kitchen Bouquet. Place the turkey in a deep roasting pan. Gradually pour melted butter over the bird, massaging the mixture into the skin as you go.

Place the turkey into a preheated 450-degree oven and roast for one hour uncovered. After the first hour, cover with aluminum foil and continue to roast until done (approx. 15 minutes per pound). Baste the bird every half hour to ensure a crisp, golden skin.

Serving Size

6-8 servings

Recipe: Bourbon mashed sweet potatoes

  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1/2 cup roasted garlic potatoes
  • Steen’s Cane Syrup, to taste
  • 1 1/2 oz Jack Daniel’s

Boil sweet potatoes in salted water for 30 minutes. Drain. Cool slightly until potatoes can be handled comfortably and transfer to a large bowl. Add roasted garlic potatoes and mash with a potato masher until incorporated. 

Gradually add Cane Syrup until sweetened to taste, then Jack Daniel's. Mix in thoroughly. 

Serve immediately.

Serving Size

6-8 people


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