Cajun Spiced Roast Turkey for a Fiery Christmas

Credit: Gerald Lee

What is Christmas without Roast Turkey.

Christmas is full of old traditions, like eating turkey on Christmas day, sending out Christmas cards, hanging tinsel around the house. But why do we eat turkey on Christmas Day and how did it come about?

Where and When This Tradition Started

Turkeys were first brought to Britain in 1526, Before, people used to eat geese, boars’ head and even peacocks as their main for their Christmas feast.

Turkeys were eaten instead of cows and chickens because the farmers needed their cows for their milk and needed the chickens for the eggs, which back then were more expensive than they are today.

So instead of killing off one of their livestock for Christmas, they’d have turkey as it was something different. King Henry VIII was the first person to eat turkey on Christmas Day.However, it wasn’t until the 1950’s that the turkey was made as a more popular Christmas meal choice.

The good thing about Christmas Day and turkeys is that Christmas is meant for family time, and turkeys can provide a family-sized meal that can make everyone full and happy!

A Fiery Twist to the Traditional

This Christmas, I feel that we should make something different since it is the last Christmas before we welcome a new decade in a few days. So, I asked myself, ‘What’s even better than a traditional roast turkey?’ The answer is a Cajun Spiced Roast Turkey!

My recipe Cajun spiced roast turkey uses a variety of spice and herbs. So don’t be afraid of handling this huge bird, just follow my step by step recipe that brings you a deliciously moist turkey together with my delicious homemade mushroom gravy, sweet tangy cranberry sauce and stuffings.

This I guarantee will make your family and friends goes ‘ooohs, aaahs and yummmms’,


a) Turkey Marinate

  • 2 tablespoons of smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons cayenne powder
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon of black pepper
  • 2 teaspoond of onion powder
  • 1 stalk of fresh english parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk of fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, with 3 cloves finely minced and 3 cloves smashed
  • 250g butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 (5kg) turkey, giblets and neck removed from cavity
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 lemon, sliced into half

b) Stuffing

  • 2 large potatoes, peeled, dice & boiled till soft
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 50g dried raisins, soaked in orange juice for 3 minutes, sift and set aside
  • 50g chopped walnuts
  • 225g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 75g butter
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 225g boiled chestnuts,  roughly chopped
  • 2 bunches of fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt & black pepper to taste

c) Gravy

  • Juice from the roast turkey
  • 250g of white button mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 red onions, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 carrot, chopped to chunks
  • 1 stalk of celery, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of corn starch, mixed with 2 tablespoons of water
  • 200g of heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste

d) Cranberry Sauce

  • 1kg frozen cranberries
  • 500g castor sugar
  • 500ml  water


a) Roast Turkey

  1. Preheat oven to 200 Celsius and turn down the heat to 165 Celsius. Arrange the oven rack to the lowest position.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the paprika,  cayenne powder, garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder and thyme. Set aside 2 teaspoons of spice mixture for the remoulade.
  3. Add in the butter, 1 tablespoon of salt, minced garlic, parsley and thyme into the bowl. Stir to combine.
  4. Pat the turkey dry; arrange the breast side up in the roasting pan. Tuck the wings behind the turkey. Gently separate the skin from breast and then, around the sides of the turkey. Brush the spiced-butter mixture inside the turkey, underneath the skin and all over outside.
  5. Stuff the cavity with lemon, onion and garlic. Tie the legs together with twine. Sprinkle all over with 1 teaspoon of salt and brush the skin with olive oil to prevent burning.
  6. Roast the turkey for 2 hours. Cover the turkey loosely with parchment paper. Roast for an additional 30 to 45 minutes longer without parchment paper or until the thermometer inserted into the thighs read a temperature of 165 degrees. Remove foil and set aside for 20 minutes before carving.

b) Stuffing

  1. Preheat oven at 180 degrees Celsius.  Butter a shallow ovenproof dish.
  2. Saute onions with butter and olive oil.
  3. Add parsley and walnuts.
  4. Add the potatoes, breadcrumbs, chestnuts and raisins into a large bowl.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Bake in a preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes until crisp and hot right through.

c) MushroomGravy

  1. Heat the olive oil in a pan on medium high heat and add in the garlic and onions.
  2. Add in the carrots and celery. Saute for 5 minutes.
  3. Add in the mushroom and saute till soft.
  4. Add in the turkey juice.
  5. Add n the heavy cream
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix to combine.

d) Cranberry Sauce

  1. Put the water and sugar in a medium-sized saucepan on high heat and bring them to a boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Add the cranberries to the pot and return the mizture to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until most of the cranberries have burst.
  3. Remove the pot from heat. Let the sauce cool completely at room temperature, then transfer to a bowl to chill in the refrigerator. Note that the cranberry sauce will continue to thicken as it cools .

A Recipe to Keep You Warm and Full

So, how do you like it? I am sure the Cajun twist is going to be a pleasant surprise to all the hungry mouths awaiting to sample your delicious Christmas feast tomorrow. The best thing about this recipe that it suits well with our Malaysian flavour palate and definitely a great way to celebrate this year’s Christmas with a bang!

Any questions about this dish can be asked directly on my Instagram page, @justinescakesandkueh and do follow Butterkicap’sInstagram and Facebook pages for more recipe updates! print

Justine Lim

With love for the freshest and natural ingredients, Justine Lim aspires to recreate heritage Malaysian recipes into modern, elegant-looking delicacies. Catch more of her delicious creations on her Instagram profile, @justinescakesnkueh

Love Malaysian food and culture? Find Malaysian recipes and stories on culture here in the Butterkicap community. Join us.

Sign up for Butterkicap

Tweet us 

Show the world just how amazing Malaysian food is.

Hashtag us at #butterkicap

Please check your feed, the data was entered incorrectly.