This Oven Roasted Cajun Turkey is lightly sprinkled with cajun seasoning then slathered in a cajun and herb butter. Then the turkey is roasted in the oven until the skin turns golden brown and crispy. The turkey comes out of the oven juicy and tender! Every holiday table should have a delicious cooked turkey as the main course. Additionally, this Oven Roasted Cajun Turkey takes 3 1/2 hours to bake which means you’ll have plenty of time to prepare side dishes or decorate the family dinner table.
At first, I wasn’t sure if I should bake a traditional turkey in the oven or fry a turkey. Usually every year my family cooks the Thanksgiving Turkey and the Christmas Turkey in our Big Easy Oil-Less Turkey Fryer. Cooking the turkey in the oil-less fryer has become a tradition for my family. Honestly, I don’t know if we became creatures of habit or if we felt the oil-less fryer was easier. After having a long talk with my husband about trying a different method for cooking our Thanksgiving Turkey, we decided to roast it in the oven. Of course, this led to us having a long discussion about whether or not to brine the turkey.
After reading an article about why it’s recommended using a brine, we decided to brine the Thanksgiving turkey. We read that brine is absorbed in the meat of the turkey, which helps the turkey stay moist during the roasting process. A brined turkey can be roasted in the oven for a shorter length of time using higher heat. So, I prepared the brine according to the boxed kit I decided to use. Then cleaned the thawed turkey removing the neck and giblets. Afterward, I placed the turkey in the herb blend brine bath for twenty-four hours, but I could have brined it for only twelve hours.
Prepping the Oven Roasted Cajun Turkey
Once, the turkey is ready to prep make sure you remove and discard the neck and giblets. Trim any fat on the turkey. Remove metal or plastic clamps from the turkey legs. Lay the turkey on a flat surface and use paper towels to pat the turkey dry including the cavity of the turkey.
Oven Roasted Cajun Turkey with Compound Butter
In addition, I made a compound butter to slather on the turkey using herbs, Cajun seasoning, and unsalted butter. Making compound butter is fun to make because of all the endless sweet and savory ingredients you could use. Of course, I kept my compound butter simple by just adding Cajun seasoning, kosher salt, rosemary, and thyme. By the way, I choose to use dried herbs instead of fresh herbs. If you decide to use dried herbs use half the quantity as you would use fresh herbs. Dried herbs tend to be more potent than fresh herbs. Once all the ingredients for the compound butter were mixed together I transferred the mixture from the bowl onto the parchment paper. Taking my time I rolled the compound butter up into a log, then twisted the ends of the paper. I chilled the butter overnight, chill for least two hours.
As soon as the turkey was prepped and at room temperature ( it’s important turkey is room temperature to allow the herb butter to stick) I placed the herb compound butter into a glass bowl and soften it in the microwave for 10 seconds. Next, I slid my hands under the skin and used my hands to coat the turkey with half of the Cajun herb butter including the cavity. Then I sprinkled Cajun seasoning lightly on both sides of the turkey and soon after began slathering on the remaining Cajun herb butter all over the top of the turkey, legs, and wings. Immediately after, I tied the legs with butcher twine. Make sure not to forget to tuck the wings under the turkey body as I did. My turkey wings didn’t look pretty when they came out of the oven, thankfully they tasted amazing!
How to Cook Oven Roasted Cajun Turkey
First, I placed the turkey in the roasting pan then poured two cups of chicken stock in the bottom of it. Second, I sprayed the cooking rack with non-stick cooking spray. Third, I laid the turkey on the roasting pan breast side up and inserted a remote probe thermometer into the thickest part of the leg setting the thermometer monitor alarm to sound at 168 degrees. Please check the thermometer to make sure it’s set correctly to Fahrenheit instead of Celsius as I did… oops! Thankfully, I caught the mistake before it was too late. Finally, I placed aluminum foil loosely over the turkey and popped it in the oven on 325 degrees. Every 20 minutes I basted the turkey, which caused the turkey to cook approximately 3 1/2 hours. Use oven mitts when removing the foil and the turkey from the oven.
Wait at least 15 minutes to carve the turkey once you remove it from the oven. This mouth-watering Oven Roasted Cajun Turkey is perfect for any holiday gathering. It’s tender, moist, and flavorful! If you happen to have leftover turkey use it for soups, nachos, tacos, breakfast burritos, or sandwiches.Print
- Dean Jacob’s Turkey Brining Kit Herb Blend ( set aside 3 tbsp herbs )
- 3 quarts water
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- 5 quarts ice water
- large stockpot
- large container with ice
Cajun Herb Compound Butter
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoon herb blend from brine kit
- 2 1/2 teaspoons cajun seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- parchment paper
Oven Roasted Cajun Turkey
- 1 (10- 12 pound) whole turkey, thawed
- 2 cups chicken stock
- cajun seasoning
- aluminum foil
- Butcher’s twine
- bulb baster
- roasting pan with removable rack
- cooking spray
- optional garshing for platter: parsley, rosemary, fresh uncooked cranberries, satsumas or oranges
- turkey thermometer
First make Turkey Brine:
- Clean turkey, remove neck and giblets from the cavity. Remove any plastic or metal clamps on the turkey.
- Make brine according to the directions on the brine box. Make sure to reserve 3 tablespoons of the herb blend. We used 1/2 cup apple juice instead of vinegar.
- Follow the directions on the brine box for the brining process. Brine the turkey for 1 hour per pound.
Second make Cajun Herb Compound Butter:
- Place butter in a microwave-safe dish. Soften butter in the microwave for 10 seconds. Do not liquefy the butter.
- Remove butter from the microwave. Add herb blend, cajun seasoning, and kosher salt.
- Cream together butter, herb blend, cajun seasoning, and kosher salt.
- Place butter mixture on a piece of parchment paper. Roll into a log, twist end of the paper.
- Chill compound butter in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
Third Cook Oven Roasted Cajun Turkey:
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Remove turkey from brine bath. Set turkey on counter and let it get to room temperature.
- Pat turkey dry with paper towels, including the cavity.
- Remove compound butter from fridge. Soften butter in a microwave safe dish for 10 seconds.
- Use your hands to carefully rub butter under the turkey skin, legs, wings, and cavity. (use only half the butter)
- Sprinkle cajun seasoning on both sides of the turkey.
- Use the remainder of the butter mixture and rub it on top of the turkey, legs, and wings.
- Tuck the wings under the turkey. Tie the legs with Butcher’s twine.
- Pour chicken stock in the bottom of roasting pan. Spray cooking rack with cooking spray.
- Lay turkey breast side up in roasting pan. Insert thermometer into thickest part of the leg.
- Set thermometer on Fahrenheit to 168 degrees.
- Place aluminum foil loosely over turkey.
- Place turkey in the oven. Baste every 20 -30 minutes using a baster bulb.
- Roast turkey until thermometer reaches 168 degrees or 3 1/2 hours. Remove foil and brown turkey an hour before the turkey is done.
- Remove turkey from oven and let sit for at least 15 minutes before carving.
- Optional: place garnishing on a platter and set turkey on it. Enjoy!
- Make sure the turkey is room temperature before attempting to rub the compound butter on it or the butter won’t stick.
- If you don’t want to use a brine kit use your favorite brine recipe.
- You can use fresh herbs instead of dry herbs. Just add more fresh herbs.
- You could add 4 -5 Bay Leaves to the brine. Remove and discard Bay Leaves when turkey is brined.
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Kim Seghers is a Mom of three, creator of This Ole Mom blog, a family friendly site. Kim is passionate about sharing her love for cooking, crafting, traveling, family, and everything lifestyle.