Once you deep-fry a turkey, you may never want to roast one again. New Orleans chef Poppy Tooker shares her recipe for deep-fried turkey and tips for doing it safely. Her Spicy Bourbon Marinade infuses the bird with a distinct creole flavor.
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Prepare the marinade:
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the bourbon, orange juice concentrate, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and Creole seasoning, and bring to a boil.
- Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Using a turkey-injection syringe, suck up the marinade, leaving the seasoning solids in the bottom of the pan.
Fry the turkey:
- Find the right place to fry the turkey. Turkey frying must be done outdoors-not on wooden decks or in garages! Set up your burner on a concrete surface like a patio or driveway, a safe distance from any structure.
- Completely defrost the turkey with all innards removed.
- Most turkey frying pots will hold about 3 gallons of oil. But to be super safe, first determine the correct amount of liquid by placing the bird in the cold, empty pot and filling the pot with water until the turkey is just submerged. Then take the turkey out and mark the water level in your pot.
- Now that the bird has had its bath, send it back to the kitchen to be thoroughly dried inside and out. Dry the pot thoroughly, too, because moisture is the culprit in many frying eruptions.
- Using the turkey-injection syringe, inject the marinade into the legs, thighs and breast of the turkey.
- Fill the dry pot with oil to the marked line.
- Heat the oil, using a frying thermometer to be sure the oil is heated to 350°F. Once you begin heating the oil, never leave it unattended.
- When you’re ready to fry, turn the fire off until the bird is in the pot. Turkey frying rigs come with a platform and stabilizing rod for lowering the bird into the oil. For total safety, use a broomstick for leverage and to keep a safe distance as you suspend the turkey rig over the pot. Ask someone to help you slowly lower the bird into the oil. Turn the fire back on and set the timer.
- A fried turkey cooks 3 minutes to the pound at 325°F to 350°F. So depending on the weight of the bird, it will be done in as little as 30 to 40 minutes. Turn off the fire before removing the turkey from the oil.
- Let it rest for 15 or 20 minutes on a newspaper covered with paper towels to absorb any excess oil. When you cut into that fried turkey, you will discover the most flavorful, moist meat you’ve ever eaten.