Popeyes Is Bringing Back Its Cajun-Style Turkey For Thanksgiving

Dr. Anthony Fauci recently said, "My Thanksgiving is going to look very different this year" (via CBS News). Could it be the famous disease expert who works for the U.S. government is going to get the Popeyes cajun fried turkey?

The fast-food chain that's become famous in its own right – for making a chicken sandwich that gives Chick-fil-A a run for its money – may not have been what Dr. Fauci was talking about. The CBS News report didn't even hint at what will be on Fauci's Thanksgiving menu. Instead, the good doctor said something about his children not flying in to visit him this year because of the COVID-19 risk. In that case, maybe he can console himself with a spicy bird from Popeyes after all.

The turkey is coated with paprika, red pepper, garlic, and onion, and pre-cooked so all you need to do is heat it up (via Thrillist). In past years, according to an old Popeyes press release, the bird has weighed 9 to 11 pounds – enough for about eight people (via Delish). That'll leave Dr. Fauci with a lot of zesty leftovers. We couldn't find any news about the special Thanksgiving cajun turkeys from Popeyes directly, but we have it from reliable sources such as Fox News, The Daily Meal, and Chew Boom. So it sounds legit.

Call or visit your local Popeyes to see if they have the turkey

The turkey sells for $39.99, but you don't have to stop there. You can always order from Popeyes' menu of side dishes. Mashed potatoes and gravy are a Thanksgiving classic. Cajun fries would be more nontraditional, not to mention redundant, but then again you can't have too much of a good spice. The turkey comes vacuum-sealed and frozen, so you'll need to thaw it out first. The Daily Meal advises against thawing on the kitchen counter. Put the bird in the fridge, 48 to 72 hours before your Thanksgiving meal. For a faster thaw, set the turkey in cold water for 10-12 hours, changing the water regularly. 

Even though the bird comes fully cooked, it will spend a healthy amount of time in your oven. The Daily Meal says two or two and a half hours at 300 degrees Fahrenheit should do it. Always use a thermometer to check the meat's temperature. For turkey, you want 140 degrees Fahrenheit. You can even make your own gravy, though we're guessing it's going to taste a lot like the cajun gravy that comes with Popeyes' mashed potatoes.

Chew Boom and the other outlets say you can get your Popeyes turkey by calling your local restaurant or visiting in person to see if it's available. They sell out quickly, so don't delay. Just wear a mask when picking the bird up at the drive-thru window. Dr. Fauci would be proud.