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Recipe: Succulent Upside Down Thanksgiving Turkey

Watch Chef Kevin Belton every Tuesday morning on Eyewitness Morning News on WWL-TV and WUPL.

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Succulent Upside Down Thanksgiving Turkey


  • 1 (12- to 15-pound) turkey
  • 4 Tbsp. Creole seasoning
  • 2-3 cups cornbread dressing
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary


  1. Thaw the turkey in the refrigerator. For a 12- to 15-pound turkey, this will take about 3 days, estimating 5 hours of thaw time for each pound of turkey.
  2. Remove the giblets and neck from inside the turkey's cavity. Set the turkey on a roasting rack and set inside a roasting pan. Sprinkle the turkey inside and out with the Creole seasoning. Place the dressing and herbs in the cavity of the turkey. Place the turkey breast-side down in the roasting rack. Let sit for 15-20 minutes before roasting.
  3. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven, remove any racks above it, and heat to 400 degrees. Roast the turkey for 20 minutes to darken and crisp the skin. Reduce the heat to 325 degrees and roast the bird for about 2 hours more.
  4. Begin checking the temperature of the turkey after 2 hours of roasting at 325 degrees. Use a thermometer to check the turkey's temperature in both the thighs and the breast. The turkey is ready when it registers 165 degrees for the thighs and 160 degrees for the breasts.
  5. Remove the turkey from the oven and let rest for 20 minutes before carving.

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Chef's Notes:

  • Note: quartered onions, halved apples, baby carrots, cubed sweet potato, or other vegetables can be used in place of cornbread dressing.

Watch Chef Kevin Belton every Tuesday morning on Eyewitness Morning News on WWL-TV and WUPL.

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