New Orleans-Style Turkey With Bourbon Gravy


  • Prep Time20 mins
  • Total Time4 hrs 15 mins
  • Makes8 to 10 servings
New Orleans-Style Turkey With Bourbon Gravy

(photo: iStock)

Want to try something different this holiday? Southern spices and bourbon take this turkey and gravy recipe in an entirely new direction.


  • 6- to 7-kg turkey

  • Generous pinch salt

  • Generous pinch pepper

  • 12 cups Pecan Stuffing

  • 3 tbsp butter, at room temperature

  • 1 cup bourbon

  • 284-mL can undiluted chicken broth


  • Preheat oven to 325F. Remove neck and bag of giblets from turkey. Discard or use for stock. Rinse bird inside and out under cold water. Pat dry. Season body cavity with salt and pepper. Place bird in a roasting pan, breast-side down.

  • Stuff neck cavity with enough Pecan Stuffing to just fill. Do not overstuff, as stuffing expands as it cooks. (Place extra stuffing in an ungreased casserole dish or pie plate. Moisten with chicken broth. Cover with foil. Heat in oven with turkey during last 30 to 60 min of roasting until heated through.)

  • Bring neck skin up over back. Sew shut or fasten with skewers or sturdy toothpicks. Turn bird breast-side up to stuff body cavity. Add enough stuffing to completely fill cavity. Sew shut or fasten with skewers or tuck legs under skin flap, if there is one. Tuck wing tips under bird.

  • In a small bowl, stir all of Homemade Cajun Spice (see recipe below) with butter until evenly mixed. Smear mixture all over turkey.

  • Pour bourbon and broth into pan (not over bird). Cover with 2 large pieces of foil, sealing tightly to pan edges. Roast in centre of oven for 2 hrs. Then remove foil and baste turkey with pan juices.

  • Continue to roast, uncovered and basting occasionally, until drumstick moves easily at joint and a meat thermometer inserted into thigh reads 180F. This will take 2 to 2 1/2 more hrs, depending on size of bird. Baste often. If turkey is browning too much in one area, cover with little pieces of foil.

  • Remove turkey to a cutting board. Loosely cover with foil and let stand at least 15 min before carving.

Homemade Cajun Spice recipe

In a small bowl, stir 1 tablespoon each paprika, dried thyme, dried basil leaves and garlic powder with 2 teaspoons cayenne.

Bourbon Gravy recipe

While turkey is standing, make gravy. Skim off and discard any fat from top of bourbon-laced pan juices. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in 1/4 cup all-purpose flour to form a thick paste. Stir constantly until bubbly, 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly whisk in strained pan juices, a little at a time, making sure mixture is very smooth before adding more liquid. This helps to prevent lumps. Stop adding pan juices once gravy is as thick as you like. (Save any remaining liquid to use as a base for soup, if you wish.) Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring often to develop flavour, 5 to 8 minutes. If gravy becomes too thick, thin with more pan juices or 1 to 2 tablespoons more bourbon, if you like.

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories 933, Protein 87g, Carbohydrates 36g, Fat 48g, Sodium 1188mg.

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