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Day By Day© by Chris Muir.


Friday, November 19, 2004

fried turkey marinade

If you have never fried a turkey before, you are missing out on one hell of a good meal. Fryers are available all over the place now. Be sure to carefully read the instructions on what to do/not to do. If you already have a fryer, I don’t need to go over the safety stuff for you again.

This recipe is for you folks that bought the fryer, cooked a bird, loved it, and now want to try something different than the jar of stuff that came packed inside the box when your toy was new.
  • fryer, and enough peanut oil to cook the bird in
  • long thermometer capable of reading over 350 degrees F.
  • auto drip pan to put under the fryer. Keeps from getting a big stain on whatever surface you are cooking on
  • marinade injector. They sell these things everywhere now. Looks like a big hypodermic syringe and needle
  • fine sieve or cheesecloth

One important thing to do before you start brining your bird is to measure how much oil it’s going to take to cook that critter. I always stick the bird in the fryer pot, and fill with water until it just covers it completely. Then I mark with a sharpee what that level is.

Next, wash the bird, and brine per instructions from my previous post.

REMEMBER: never use sugar or honey in these marinades. This will only turn the meat black, as in indigo ink black. Very unappetizing. I don’t care what emeril says in his cookbooks. In this case, black is NOT beautiful

After brining, and while the bird is coming up to room temperature, prepare your marinade for injection. Make sure to drain the cavity of the bird, or you will get a real surprise when you drop it into the oil..
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 tsp Cajun seasoning (I like tony’s salt free creole seasonings myself
  • 1 clove garlic, minced finely
  • half an onion, minced fine
  • couple of sprigs of rosemary, sage, or whatever herbs strikes your fancy, chopped up

Melt butter, and toss in all of the ingredients. Keep on a low heat for about 20 or 30 minutes to allow all those flavors to blend into the butter.

Take the butter and strain thru a sieve or cheesecloth. This gets the chunks out so you don’t clog up the syringe. Add enough cooking oil, like canola (DO NOT use olive oil. It gets too hot during frying, and the oil will end up tasting bitter) or water to make a good cup of liquid.

Inject the marinade into the bird. Don’t forget the thighs and drumsticks. I usually try to inject each breast in at least 4 places, and the thighs and legs a couple each. Lightly oil the bird, and coat it with a good rub. Just using the seasoned salt from the marinade recipe works very well.

Now let the bird sit while you fire up the fryer. Fill the fryer to the mark, and add another ½ inch or so. Heat the oil to 350 degrees. When you get there, use either the rack or basket to lower the bird (I send them to their fate head first), and kick the flame up, because the temperature is going to drop rapidly. Back off on the heat as the temp comes up. You want to cook the bird per the instructions you got with the fryer, but a good rule of thumb is 3 minutes per pound, plus 5 minutes. If you are watching the temperature of the oil, and it has been steady for a while but suddenly takes a jump up….get that bird out of there. You’ve cooked all the water out, and unless you like fried jerky, you best be pulling that critter.
I always toss the bird into a brown grocery bag for about 10 minutes. That helps get some of the excess oil off.

Slice it up, and enjoy.
If you try this, please email me with your results. And any tips you might have thought up or discovered.
We’ve had quite a few of these delectable treats since my birthday present of a couple of years ago. The only thing I’d do different is buy a temperature control gas regulator from cabella’s. that way I won’t have to hover over the damned thing the whole time it’s cooking, adjusting the temperature.

for a complete list of my online recipes, follow the link here


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