Fried Turkey

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Directions and notes:

Frying a turkey is simple and easy, but it does require a great deal of effort and attention in preparation. Most pots for Turkey frying will not hold a turkey over 12 to 13 pounds so be careful when making your selection. The turkey must be properly thawed in order to reducethe chance of Salmonella. Thaw the bird slowly in the refigerator. If the turkey has a pop-out thermometer remove it. Also, be sure to remove the packaging with the neck and other parts! I have forgotten more than once!

A true Cajun Fried Turkey will be injected with a marinade. You can either make your own or you can buy a pre-mixed marinate at most grocery stores. The local Wal-Mart normally has several different choices as does the local Gander Mountain outdoor store. I often make my own with butter, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic, hot pepper sauce, and a mixture of Cajun spices such as LePaks. I keep a hypodermic injector handy, but one should be available in any store with a well stocked cooking department.

Peanut oil is universally used for frying turkeys for a couple of reasons. It tastes good, but that is not necessarily the primary reason. Peanut oil burns at a much higher termperature than other oils,so it requires much lessregulation. It is also available in 2 or 2 1/2 gallon containers and is usually reasonably priced. I will normally save the oil, strain it, and reuse it a couple of times.

We're now ready to cook our turkey. This should always be done outdoors on a gas burner simply for safety sake! Bring the pot of oil up to 400 degrees F. making sure that your thermometer is accurate. I was going to do a turkey once at a friend's house and, unknown to me, my thermometer was broken and my Peanut oil caught fire. Not a pleasant experience, but I had plenty of spare oil so we were able to salvage the meal, but I learned a valuable lesson. Check your thermometer!

Before putting the Turkey in the oil, give it a good coating of flour. This will keep the oil from boiling over when the Turkey is slowly lowered into the Peanut oil.

We start with the oil at 400 degrees F., but the temperature will drop when the Turkey is put in the oil. Stabilize the cooking temperature at 375 degrees F. and cook for 4 minutes per pound. At the end of the cooking period I will turn off the gas and leave the Turkey in the oil for several minutes before removing it.

As far as I am concerned this is the only way to prepare a turkey-it is just too quick and easy and it tastes great!

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