Moist & Tasty Baked Turkey with Cajun Brown Gravy


The author writes – This is a recipe that I have modified from baked chicken to turkey. It is very moist, and very tasty. It is self- basting as you will see from the recipe instructions. There will be a transfer of smoked flavor from the bacon into the turkey. It has been a hit for holiday meals. Translation: the turkey is gone. This recipe is gauged for a 12 – 16 pound turkey


  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 12 to 16 pound turkey
  • 1 package 24 ounces, thick cut smoked bacon.
  • Extra Virgin olive oil for drizzling over turkey
  • 1 orange cut into wedges
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges
  • 1 medium yellow onion quartered
  • 1 whole pod of garlic cut in half with skin on
  • 3 medium onions diced
  • 1 bell pepper diced
  • Drippings – renderings from baked turkey
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 3 cups water
  • Seasoning- reserve from above


Step 1

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit

Step 2

Turkey: Take the seasoning mix and rub on to exterior surface of turkey all around. Also, dust the inside cavity with seasoning. Take the cut up orange, lemon, onion, garlic and stuff them into the cavity. Place the bird into your baking vessel; large oval roaster works best. Drizzle olive oil all over the top of the bird. They cut the bacon package down the center to make short strips. Place the bacon slightly overlapped, covering the entire top of the turkey. Put into the oven uncovered.

Step 3

Follow the baking times recommended by vendor. 12 to 16 pounds 4 to 5 hours. The last 35-40 minutes when the bacon looks cooked, take tongs and remove the bacon. The skin will brown up in the remaining cook time. When turkey is done, remove drippings and place into heavy bottom skillet. Cover the turkey in the roaster tightly and let sit.

Step 4

Step 5

Step 6

Gravy: Cut up 3 medium onions into & 1 bell pepper into skillet with drippings- renderings from turkey. Put on medium-high heat. Begin the browning process. This is a larger amount of base for gravy. It may take 45 to 55 minute for gravy to complete. Thoroughly mix the ingredients in skillet, and let it sit for about 7 to 10 minute intervals before stirring. Do not add any moisture for at least 20 minutes. When you see the mixture beginning to stick to the bottom. Add about 2 tablespoons of hot tap water and begin de-glazing the bottom. Repeat this process about 3 to 4 times until you see a rich brown coloring of the mixture. Add 3 cups water bring to boil. Add 2 tablespoons of flour whisking it into gravy to give body and even consistency. At the end you can use some of the left over seasoning mix to bring the flavor level up. Uncover the turkey. Carve it up and serve. May serve over rice or potatoes.

The left over bacon works great as a garnish on some of the side dishes you may serve...or make a BLT as your reward.

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Kaplan, Louisiana Louisiana
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