I have been reintroduced to the joys of fried turkey in recent months. What a holiday delight to pull such an utterly delicious and gleaming bird out of the depths of peanut oil. That moment of realization that it is juicier than any roasted turkey you have ever laid your lips on is truly a cherished one.
Turkey expedition number one began in the back yard of a friend of mine's apartment. He had injected an eighteen pound turkey the night before with worcestershire sauce and cajun seasoning. We rubbed the outside with cajun seasoning to add an extra element and lit the gas to get the party started. After lowering the large bird into the grease and checking it about an hour later the outside was an astounding shade of sienna that immediately shouted "eat me."
The result was very similar to the second turkey I cooked for Christmas dinner although I sincerely wish I would have photographed the first one Nate cooked. The grandness of the larger bird is certainly an undertaking well worth your time. And all those around you will thank you for your efforts.
The Christmas bird had to share room with a ham so we opted for a twelve pound bird so as not to overwhelm my mother-in-laws already full fridge. The holiday goodies were flowing from the homemade fudge, buckeyes, and chocolate covered cherries, to homemade egg nog and bacon cinnamon rolls. I can not promise when or if we will post some of those recipes. The bacon pecan cinnamon rolls were certainly a hit even with Dawn's grandparents despite their initial hesitant glances.
But after all the holiday celebrations and preparations on Christmas morning I set out to cook a bird that was dressed to impress. By that I mean I tried to spice up the preconceived sage nuances that I was told every turkey should have (sorry that I disagree). I mixed up a nice bowl of spices to blanket the bird from head to toe. But, after the meal the synopsis was unanimous that whether you call it unsophisticated or countrified or delicious for that matter- everyone agreed it was one of the best turkeys they had ever eaten.
Cajun Sage Fried Turkey
12 # thoroughly thawed and dried turkey
1/4 C kosher salt
3 T crushed black pepper
1 1/2 T smoked paprika
2 T dried sage
1 T ground coriander
1 T white pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
The night before you are going to cook the turkey mix the seasonings together thoroughly and rub into the outside and underneath the skin of the turkey on the breasts. Refrigerate overnight and pull out of the fridge an hour and a half before you are going to cook it.
Heat your turkey fryer up to 355 to 360 degrees, because your oil will cool down a bit with the turkey in it. Lower your thoroughly dried turkey (preferably on a tube to keep it centered) into the oil and cook at 350 degrees for approximately three and a half minutes per pound or forty minutes for an twelve pound turkey. Check with a thermometer in the breast to assure the meat is 170 degrees. Pull out of the oil carefully and allow to cool for at least fifteen minutes. Enjoy with a nice glass of cava.