Deep Fried Turkey

Monday, November 22, 2010
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fried turkey on thanksgiving table
Perhaps you've heard about a growing trend in turkey cooking—I'm talking about the deep-fried turkey. Sound weird? Well it isn't and it's delicious and easier than you might think.

I'd eat a deep fried sneaker if I could, I love fried food, but somehow a deep-fried turkey didn't sound so good. Well, I have tried them and you won't believe how delicious they come out—crispy on the outside and super-moist inside, and surprisingly NOT greasy.

There are a few tips and precautions you'll want to take. First, I recommend buying a kit—it comes with the heat source, the right sized pot, AND a metal basket to lower the bird in and out of the pot. Make sure you choose a level spot outside in a place that is not windy.

Bring your oil to temperature. Thoroughly, I mean thoroughly dry the turkey inside and out—any water will make the oil splatter and pops and you do not want that. Lower the bird into the hot oil and let it go for 40 minute—yes… 1/3 of the time it takes to roast a whole turkey. Let rest and dig in… you'll have to cook the stuffing separately and I recommend you not fry that part of your Thanksgiving meal.

Preparation Time: 45 minutes
Start to Finish Time: 1 hours
Yield: 10 servings

1 12- to 14-pound turkey, neck and giblets removed
4 gallons vegetable oil

Thoroughly dry bird inside and out.

Pour oil into a 7- to 8-gallon frying pot. Place pot on burner and heat oil to 375° over medium-low heat according to the manufacturer's instructions. Mount turkey onto frying base and, using oven mitts and a sturdy hook, carefully lower turkey into hot oil.

Check the thermometer often during frying and keep oil at 350°. Fry 40 minutes.

Turkey is done when a meat thermometer inserted into thigh registers 170°.

Remove turkey from oil using oven mitts and hook; drain and let rest 20 minutes before slicing.

Thanksgiving Holiday Tips Part Two
By Annie Copps

Thursday, November 18, 2010
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thansgiving turkey

Feeling a little antsy about the holidays? I have a few ideas that might help you relax and enjoy the spirit of all these celebrations. And if you missed it, see part one of my holiday tips.

11. Pick up a few extra bags of cranberries and pop them in the freezer—after the holidays, they'll be scarce.

12. It's the one day of the year to eat with no restraint. This is not the day for diets. Be full—unbutton your pants if you have to.

13. Invite guests to your home and don't get hung up on the table being too crowded or things not being perfect—it's better to invite a neighbor, friend, or relative who would have been alone otherwise, rather than to fret that someone is sitting in a folded metal chair or eating off a plate that doesn't match your pattern.

14. If a guest brings a surprise dish that doesn't go with your menu, serve it anyway. So much of Thanksgiving is about tradition and memories—if Aunt Sarah needs to make chocolate cranberry turnip salad as part of her tradition, let it slide.

15. Thanksgiving is not the day to try out a new recipe. Stick with what you are comfortable with and that you know will work.

16. Instead of one GIANT turkey, consider two or three smaller ones. Everything will cook faster (consider cooking one the day before and one the day of, so that you can present one beautiful browned bird tableside), smaller birds will be more tender and juicy, and if you have a large crowd, you'll have more drumsticks.

17. Turkeys are notorious for being finicky to cook, because the white breast meat cooks more quickly than the darker meat of the drumsticks. There are several ways to even the playing field: brine your turkey, butterfly your turkey, remove the legs and cook separately, and/or cover the breast with foil (remove the last 45 minutes to brown the skin).

18. Baste or not to baste? Basting does very little to add to the flavor of your turkey (not much of that flavor actually gets absorbed), BUT basting the breast does cool it down (by evaporation) and slows down the cooking time of the breast meat which lets the legs catch up a little.

Thanksgiving Holiday Tips

Thursday, November 18, 2010
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thansgiving feast table

Do the holidays leave you frazzled? Overtired? Confused? Overwhelmed? If so, then I am here to help with a few tips that ought make things easier for you and everyone you are celebrating Thanksgiving with.

  1. First, be thankful. Take time and pause to reflect on the big and small things in your life that you are grateful for—that means food on the table and people to share it with.
  2. Make a timeline so that you can schedule shopping for the week, the day of the feast and an oven schedule so you know what needs to go in and when.
  3. Read through all of your recipes to make sure you are clear about the order of instructions and all the ingredients you'll need.
  4. Check and make sure that you have all the pots and pans you'll need.
  5. Check and make sure you have all the plates, flatware, napery, serving utensils, glassware, and chairs that you'll need. If you are short ask a guest to pitch in.
  6. Do as much as you can before BIG Thursday. Most purees can be made a week in advance and frozen. Make the pies, stuffing, etc., the day before.
  7. Go easy on the table decor. Avoid fancy and elaborate floral arrangements and knick knacks on your table. You'll have a lot of color with all the foods being served and with plates passing around and serving utensils poking out here and there, you'll need more space than usual on your table.
  8. Make use of extra hands in your house. The night before rent a movie and put family members to work peeling butternut squash, green beans, or other time-consuming jobs that'll slow you down the next day.
  9. Make a list of all the ingredients you will need a week before.
  10. If you have a frozen turkey, be sure to begin defrosting it on Monday—in your fridge, a 14-pound turkey will take 2-3 days. If you forget, fill a large, clean cooler with cold water and put your bird in there, changing the water every hour. If you are lucky (we told you to defrost your turkey earlier!) your bird will be ready in 8 hours.

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