This Baked Turkey Breast is a genius recipe for a spectacular Thanksgiving centrepiece packed full of big Cajun flavours. A Cajun rubbed turkey breast is baked in the same roasting pan with a delicious dressing (stuffing) which keeps the turkey moist, plus the juices from the turkey flavours the dressing!
This is EASY, the turkey breast is incredibly juicy, and the dressing has a beautiful golden crust but is juicy underneath. You don’t need gravy with this baked turkey breast!!!
This is a Cajun Thanksgiving spread from a sassy Southern Lady, Dorothy from Tennessee.
Dorothy, much like Dozer, has become a regular fixture here on RecipeTin Eats. Though unlike Dozer, who simply trades off his cuteness, Dorothy actually makes valuable contributions. From her cheerful commentary, to her generosity sharing recipes not just with me, but even with readers, and helpfulness sharing her knowledge and experience.
Dorothy is a sensational cook – full stop. We have very similar palettes – big flavours, tasty, hearty simple food. We don’t plate up with tweezers, we don’t cook with trendy ingredients, and though we both have a weakness for all things cheese and bacon, we lean towards healthy-ish meals and avoid deep frying / cooking with blocks of cream cheese.
And today, I’m so honoured to be sharing a Thanksgiving spread starring her recipes.
Turkey is not cheap here in Australia. Dear US readers – be prepared to fall off your chair: We Aussies pay $30+ per kg which is $15 / lb for turkey breast from butchers. Frozen packaged turkey is only a bit cheaper.
Thus you can be sure that any turkey recipe I share is easy and low risk with guaranteed deliciousness. Because with an investment upward of $100 for a whole turkey and even large turkey breasts, there is no way I am taking a punt.
And the minute I read Dorothy’s recipe for this Cajun Baked Turkey Breast WITH Dressing, I knew it was a winner.
Here’s why this has got to be a contender for one of the world’s best baked turkey breast recipes:
1. DOUBLE JUICY – Brining is the key to a juicy baked turkey breast, and this recipe is dry brined with a homemade Cajun rub. But this recipe goes one step further. By baking the dressing / stuffing in the SAME baking dish as the turkey breast, it helps make the turkey even juicier.
The wetness of the dressing protects the lower part of the turkey as well as generally providing moisture all around the turkey as the liquid evaporates because it is baked covered for most of the time.
When you slice this turkey, you are going to be amazed at the wetness of the flesh!
2. EXTRA TASTY DRESSING (STUFFING) – A little food trivia for you: if you stuff it in a bird, it’s called Stuffing. If you bake it separately, it’s called Dressing. I prefer Dressing because I like the golden brown bits on top.
This Dressing is made extra tasty because by baking it in the same roast pan as the turkey, it is soaking up all the turkey juices. It’s the BEST stock that you can ever imagine using for a Dressing. It’s genius!!!
3. CAJUN DELICIOUSNESS – If you love Cajun food, you’re going to go mad for this! Cajun rub and Cajun dressing. This turkey is just mind blow-ingly delicious.
4. LESS MESS – Have I emphasised enough the sheer convenience of 2 recipes made in ONE roasting pan??
5. EASY – Honestly, read the recipe. There is nothing tricky about this. This is a recipe easy enough for beginners.
6. CHEF RECIPE – Yes, this is a real deal Chef recipe! It is based on a recipe by Chef Paul Prudhomme, an American chef credited with popularising Cajun and Creole cuisine.
7. GRAVY IS PURELY OPTIONAL – Dorothy swore that the Dressing was so moist and flavour packed that gravy is not necessary. And she is absolutely dead set right – you do not need gravy!! The only reason I have provided a Cajun Gravy in the recipe notes is because I think it works well for when this turkey is made ahead (because reheated turkey breast doesn’t retain juiciness as well as fattier meats – but this turkey is still moist when reheated!).
THANKSGIVING FEAST 2016
Each year, I share a Thanksgiving and Christmas spread where I provide a menu and all the recipes for a feast. Here’s Thanksgiving 2015, Christmas 2015 and Thanksgiving / Christmas 2014, This years’ Thanksgiving Feast is Cajun themed and centres around recipes provided by Dorothy, with a couple of mine thrown into the mix. 🙂 Here’s the menu – pictured above.
- Cajun Baked Turkey Breast and Stuffing (this recipe)
- Corn Casserole
- Louisiana Strawberry Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Dressing
- Potato au Gratin
- Brussels Sprout Salad
- Pumpkin Cake
Two epic Thanksgiving recipes that just happens to be made in one roasting pan: A Cajun brined turkey breast and a Cajun dressing / stuffing.
An extra juicy baked turkey breast.
Less washing up.
No stress, easy recipe.
What else could could you possibly want for a Thanksgiving or Christmas feast centrepiece? THANKS DOROTHY!!! – Nagi xx
Cajun Baked Turkey Breast and Dressing (Stuffing)
- 1 tbsp kosher salt *
- 1 tsp each freshly cracked black pepper , ground oregano **
- 2 tsp each onion powder , garlic powder, smoked paprika ^
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp. each dried thyme and rosemary
- 8 lb / 4 kg pound bone-in turkey breast ("crown" or "buffe") (Note 1)
Dressing / Stuffing (Note 2)
- 4 tbsp / 50g butter
- 8 cloves garlic , minced (2 tbsp)
- 2 large onions , finely chopped^^ (4 cups)
- 2 celery ribs , finely chopped (2 cups)
- 2 green peppers / capsicum , finely chopped (2 cups)
- 1 1/4 lb / 650g Andouille sausages (Note 3 for subs!)
- 1-2 tbsp Tabasco sauce , to taste
- 2 cups chicken stock / broth
- 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs (panko breadcrumbs can be substituted)
- Mix together Cajun Rub.
- Rub turkey breast with 3 tbsp of poultry rub (Note 1). Place on a plate and refrigerate overnight, uncovered (24 - 36 hours).
- Remove turkey from fridge - leave out while making Dressing / Stuffing.
- Use a food processor to ground the sausages, or finely chop them. If using raw substitute sausages (see Note 3), you can just squeeze the meat out of the casings.
- Melt butter in large skillet over medium high heat. Add the garlic, half the onion, half the celery and half the capsicum. Cook for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are softened.
- Transfer vegetables into a bowl. If the skillet is looking dry, add a tiny splash of oil. Add sausage and cook, breaking it up as you go.
- Add cooked onion etc back into the skillet and add remaining onion, celery and capsicum. Stir.
- Add tabasco (start with 1 tbsp) and chicken broth. Bring to simmer, then turn heat down to medium. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Stir in breadcrumbs then remove from heat. It should still be very moist and a bit liquidy, but not like soup.
- While Dressing is simmering, preheat oven to 325F / 165C (standard) or 295F / 145C (fan forced / convection).
- Place turkey breast in a roasting pan so there is 2"/5cm (or so) around it for the dressing.
- Spoon dressing around the turkey.
- Cover loosely with foil then bake for 3 1/4 - 3 1/2 hours, then uncover and roast for an additional 30 minutes to brown and crisp the skin, or until the internal temperature of the turkey is 75C / 165F (Note 4).
- Remove from oven then loosely cover with foil. Rest for 20 minutes before serving (Note 5).
** Ground oregano is best but can be substituted with normal dried oregano flakes
^ Smoked paprika is best but can be substituted with normal paprika
^^ Brown, white or yellow
* Kranksy sausage (sold at Woolworths and Coles) (2nd best)
* Good quality pork sausage (must be chunky made with just meat, not uniform pale pink which = fillers) + Cajun spices (below)
6 lb / 3 kg: 3 hrs 15 min - 3 1/2 hours, 3 tbsp Rub, increase chicken stock by 1/4 cup
8 lb / 4 kg: 3 hr 45 min - 4 hours, 3 tbsp Rub, per recipe
10 lb / 5 kg: 4 hr 15 min, 4 tbsp Rub, per recipe
LIFE OF DOZER
I think Dozer thinks that standing with his paws together makes him extra irresistible? ?
MY OTHER TURKEY RECIPES
Juicy Slow Cooker Turkey Breast – For those times when you really don’t have time to brine, this is the safest and easiest way to cook turkey. Plus, the turkey juices make a delicious gravy!
Dry Brined Whole Turkey – So much more practical than wet brining, and in my personal opinion, tastier. Wet brining can inject tasteless watery juices into turkey whereas dry brining is all turkey!