This recipe comes to us courtesy of Louisiana Cookin’ Magazine
This year, try cooking your Thanksgiving turkey inside a black pot, Cajun style. It couldn’t be easier, and only comes out one way—pretty and perfect. What’s more, because it’s roasted slowly at a constant temperature, unstuffed, in an old-fashioned Dutch oven, you get one of the juiciest turkeys you ever ate. If you’re a fan of my traditional slow-roasted turkey, you’re gonna love this!
MAKES 1 TURKEY
1 fresh or frozen turkey, 8 to 10 pound average
4 tablespoons poultry seasoning
2 tablespoons kosher or sea salt
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup softened margarine (I prefer Promise)
1 whole, large, peeled onion
First, put the turkey in the sink under cold running water and wash it thoroughly, making sure to remove every single trace of debris from the internal cavity. Then, with paper towels, pat the bird dry inside and out, and place it onto a sheet of waxed paper on the counter top.
At this point, you also want to preheat your oven to 325°F.
Next, prepare the turkey, front and back, inside and out, with the poultry seasoning, salt, black pepper, and cayenne. And I don’t mean just sprinkle it
on—rub those seasonings into the bird hard!
Then, with the margarine, massage the bird liberally, again both inside and out, until it coats the entire turkey. And be sure you put some of the margarine up under the skin too.
Place the turkey, breast-side up, into a pre-buttered cast-iron Dutch oven large enough to hold the bird plus whatever juices will be rendered out (and
you will get juices). You want to cook the turkey unstuffed, except for the onion that you place inside the cavity.
When your thermostat indicates that the oven is right at 325°F, put the lid on the black pot and slide it into the oven on the center or low-center rack.
Then set your timer for about 2 hours and don’t even peek in the pot until the timer goes off. Depending upon the weight of the bird, you can expect
it to cook to perfection in about 3 to 4 hours (which figures out to about 22 minutes to the pound).
Of course, to be sure that you’re correct, I suggest you use a meat thermometer and roast the turkey until the internal temperature in the turkey breast
or thigh reaches 180°F.
Finally, when you’re ready to eat, remove the bird from the pot (it’s going to be so fall-apart tender you may have to extricate it in pieces), place it
onto a serving platter, and finish carving it at the table for your family and dinner guests.
But, whatever you do, make sure you whisk together a little cornstarch and water, stir it into the natural pot drippings, cook it briefly at a slow boil,
and thicken it into the best-tasting turkey gravy you ever passed over your lips. The gravy is the best reason to cook a turkey this way!