Cajun/Creole Thanksgiving Recipes

Cajun/Creole Thanksgiving Recipes

  • BBQ Butter-Basted Turkey Breast

BBQ Butter-Basted Turkey Breast

Most people only think about cooking turkeys whole. They treat the turkey breast, thigh, and leg the same, whether roasted, smoked, or fried.

I, on the other hand, am a huge fan of cutting up the bird and giving each piece the respect it deserves. Legs can be smoked and grilled like you might find at a country fair. Thighs can be given the star treatment, utilizing the fat content to braise them down in wine. I fry the wings and treat them like oversize chicken drums and flappers.

As for the turkey breasts, I roast them with some homemade barbecue butter. The skin stays crispy while leaving the meat juicy and flavorful, which is much easier to accomplish while cooking the turkey breasts on their own rather than the whole turkey at once! — Jay D. Ducote

BBQ Butter-Basted Turkey Breast
Serves 8
Turkey Breast is Basted in a delicious BBQ Butter.
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  1. 8 cups water
  2. ½ cup plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  3. ½ cup sugar
  4. 2 tablespoons paprika
  5. 2 tablespoons chili powder
  6. 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  7. 1 tablespoon onion powder
  8. 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  9. 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  10. 2 (3-pound) bone-in skin-on turkey breasts
  11. 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  12. 1 cup BBQ Butter, recipe follows
  1. In a large stockpot, add 8 cups water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer. Add ½ cup salt, sugar, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, and white pepper; whisk until dissolved. Remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature. Transfer to a large bowl or 1-gallon resealable plastic bags. Add turkey breasts, making sure to completely submerge; refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 325°.
  3. Remove turkey from brine, and 
pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle both sides with remaining 2 teaspoons salt and black pepper. In a large roasting pan with rack, place turkey breasts skin side up.
  4. Roast turkeys, basting with BBQ Butter every 15 to 20 minutes, until skin is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer registers 165° when inserted into the thickest part of the breast, about 2 hours. If skin browns too quickly, cover loosely 
with foil and continue cooking.
  5. Transfer turkeys to a platter, tent with with aluminum foil, and let rest for 15 minutes before slicing diagonally. Serve with pan juices.
By Jay Ducote
BBQ Butter
Yields 1
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  1. 1 cup unsalted butter
  2. ½ cup barbecue sauce, such as Jay D’s Louisiana Barbecue Sauce
  1. In a small saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add barbecue sauce, and whisk to combine. Keep warm until ready to use.

Mirliton Cornbread Dressing

Mirliton Cornbread Dressing
Serves 6
Mirliton and cornbread pair well in this classic holiday dressing.
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  1. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  2. 4 mirlitons (chayote squash), cored and cut into ½-inch cubes
  3. 1 pound ground Italian sausage
  4. 1 cup chopped celery
  5. 1 cup chopped onion
  6. 1 cup chopped carrot
  7. ½ cup chopped red bell pepper
  8. ¼ cup chopped jalapeño peppers
  9. 1 pound day-old cornbread, cut in 1-inch cubes
  10. 1 cup chicken stock
  11. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  12. ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  13. 1 (7.4 ounce) jar chopped chestnuts (about 1 cup)
  14. 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Spray a 3-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat; stir in mirliton, and cook until tender and lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
  3. In an extra-large skillet, cook sausage over medium-high heat until cooked through, about 8 minutes; 
add celery, onion, carrot, and peppers, and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in cornbread, and toss until well coated with the vegetable mixture. Pour 
¼ cup chicken stock over cornbread, stirring well to combine, repeating until cornbread appears damp. Stir in mirliton, salt, pepper, chestnuts, and parsley. Spread evenly in prepared baking dish, and bake for 
45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.
  • Sweet Potato Tart

Sweet Potato Tarts

These sweet potato tarts from Duck Dynasty’s Ms. Kay Robertson are bound to brighten up any Thanksgiving or holiday table.

Sweet Potato Tarts
Yields 2
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  1. 2 Homemade Piecrusts, recipe follows
  2. 2 pounds sweet potatoes, cooked, peeled, and mashed (about 3 cups mashed)
  3. 2 cups sugar
  4. 6 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  5. ⅛ teaspoon salt
  6. 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  7. ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  8. ½ cup butter, melted
  9. 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
  10. 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. On a lightly floured surface, roll out Homemade Piecrusts, and fit into 2 (10-inch) fluted tart pans with removable bottoms. Gently press crusts into bottom and up sides of tart pans and trim. Line pans with parchment paper, and place pie weights on top.
  2. Bake until crusts begin to set, about 10 minutes. Remove pie weights and parchment paper, and bake until lightly browned, about 8 to 10 minutes more. Let crusts cool on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine sweet potato, sugar, egg yolks, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter, evaporated milk, and vanilla. Mix on low speed to combine.
  4. Divide filling evenly among prepared crusts. Bake 10 minutes; decrease heat to 300°, and bake until tarts have set and are dark golden brown, about 45 to 50 minutes.
By Ms. Kay Robertson
Homemade Piecrusts
Yields 2
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  1. 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  2. ¾ teaspoon salt
  3. 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes and frozen
  4. 5 tablespoons ice water, or more, as needed
  1. In the work bowl of a food processor, pulse together flour and salt. Add butter and pulse until mixture has pea-sized pieces of butter.
  2. Add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing after each addition, until dough comes together. Add more cold water, if necessary. Remove from bowl, and place on clean work surface. Separate dough into 2 even disks, being careful not to overwork. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, 1 to 2 hours or up to overnight.
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