December 05, 2009

Yes, Fried Turkey is Good

It's official: fried turkey is delicious. I didn't want to like it, but I did. I liked it. The skin is crispy. The meat is tender and juicy. The flavor is better than any other turkey I've had.

1. The turkey was brined over night, and then we used our own take on Emeril Lagasse's Fried Turkey marinade recipe that included everything but the Zatarian's.

2. After the marinade was injected, we applied a rub composed of kosher salt, cayenne pepper, and ground black pepper all over the turkey. Thanksgiving is kind of like a spa day for the turkey, minus the boiling hot oil part.

3. I mostly watched and heckled this part, but the turkey was lowered very slowly into peanut oil that had been heated to about 350 degrees. It cooked for an hour or so, and then was removed, just as carefully.

4. Check out that crispy skin. Poor turkey.

5. My stepdad, cutting into the deeeeelicious turkey. We made two (we had twenty guests), and they were both delicious.

The process was stressful, the cleanup was awful, but the turkey itself was fantastic. It also held up well in the fridge and made for some great Thanksgiving leftover sandwiches.

The best leftover sandwich I made? Two slices of toast with cheddar cheese melted on them, leftover butternut squash spread across one side, gravy across the other, brussels sprouts sliced thin in place of lettuce, and turkey. Mind-boggling.

If you have the time, a safe place, and several gallons of peanut oil, I recommend trying a deep-fried turkey sometime soon. Just avoid frying a turkey on wood chips, 2 feet from your house.

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