Monday, November 8, 2010

Deep-Fried Turkey

Those who know me well know I love to cook with fresh produce and use natural ingredients.  We don't eat a lot of processed food in our house.  I use butter, not margarine and I don't buy anything that says "low fat" or "fat free".  

Ordinarily I try to cook meat in ways that avoid fat . . . but there is one exception to that rule.  A few years ago, we bought a turkey fryer, and I absolutely love deep fried turkey!  If you haven't tried it, you must.  We usually do two turkeys for Thanksgiving day - one fried and one roasted in the oven.  (Gotta have one to stuff.)  

Here is this year's Deep-Fried Turkey recipe:

6 quarts hot water
1 lb kosher salt
1 lb dark brown sugar
5 lbs ice
1 (13 - 14 lb) turkey (thawed and giblets removed)
4 - 4 1/4 gallons of peanut oil

Brine the turkey:  Put the hot water, salt and brown sugar in a 5 gallon upright cooler or sterilized bucket.  Stir until the salt and sugar dissolve completely.  Add the ice and stir until the mixture is cool.  Gently lower the turkey into the container.  If necessary, weigh down the bird to ensure it is fully immersed in the brine.  Cover and set in a cool place for 8 - 16 hours.  

Remove from the brine and pat dry.  

Set your empty pot on your burner unit and attach the thermometer to the side of the pot.  Fill the pot with peanut oil (enough to cover the turkey without overflowing).  

Light the gas burner and adjust the gas and airflow; do not put a lid on the pot.  Bring the temp to 350 degrees. 

Slowly lower the turkey into the hot oil.  Cook your turkey for about 3 minutes per pound.  Do not leave the pot while cooking.  You do not need an overflow of hot oil.  This could cause a fire.  Be sure to keep all children and any family activities away from the fryer.  

After allotted time of 3 minutes per pound has passed, lift turkey from hot oil and place it on a lipped surface to rest and allow oil to drain from turkey.  Continue to keep everyone away from turkey fryer.  The oil is still extremely hot.  

After about 30 minutes of resting, place the turkey on a plate for all to admire!

Remember:  Turkey fryers are serious business.   It matters a lot where you use yours.  Keep it at least 10 feet away from your home, garage, deck, or wooden fence.  Keep it on a level surface and make sure kids and adults stay at least 10 feet away.  Keep your heat resistant gloves and  your fire extinguisher nearby.  You may want a chair and a beverage to keep you comfortable while you don't leave your fryer.  (Do not make that beverage the alcoholic kind until your oil is no longer hot - you may not break this rule!)

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