Bayou Deep Fried Turkey
This recipe is a family favorite of former Louisiana U.S. Senator John Breaux.
- 1 (10 to 12 pound) whole turkey, non self-basting
- 4 ounces liquid garlic
- 4 ounces liquid onion
- 4 ounces liquid celery
- 1 tablespoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce such as Tabasco
- 1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning OR 1 ounce liquid crab boil
- 5 gallons peanut oil*
* Use only oils with high smoke points, such as peanut, canola or safflower oil. To determine the correct amount of oil, place the turkey in the pot before adding seasoning and add water until turkey is covered. Take turkey out of the water before marking the oil level. Measure the amount of water and use a corresponding amount of oil. Dry the pot thoroughly of all water.
- Marinade: Remove giblets and neck, rinse the turkey well with cold water and pat dry thoroughly with paper towels. Take care to dry both inside cavities.
- Cut off the wing tips and plump tail as they may get caught in the fryer basket.
- Combine remaining marinade ingredients in a small saucepan. Simmer over low heat until salt is dissolved. Allow mixture to cool. Fill poultry/meat injector with cooled solution.
- Inject turkey in the breast, wings, drumsticks, thighs and back. Place on a rack, cover and chill. Marinate, in the refrigerator for 24 hours, maintaining a temperature of 39 degrees F or below.
- To allow for good oil circulation through the cavity, do not truss or tie legs together.
- Deep Frying Procedure: Place the OUTDOOR gas burner on a level dirt or grassy area. Never fry a turkey indoors, in a garage or in any structure attached to a building. Do not fry on wood decks, which could catch fire, or concrete, which could be stained by the oil. (Safety tip: have a fire extinguisher nearby for added safety.)
- Add oil to a 10+ gallon pot with a basket or rack. At the medium-high setting, heat the oil to 375 degrees F, (depending on the amount of oil, outside temperature and wind conditions, this should take about 40+ minutes).
- Place the turkey in a basket or on a rack, neck down.
- When the oil temperature registers 375 degrees F on a deep-fry thermometer, slowly lower the turkey into the hot oil. The level of the oil will rise due to the frothing caused by the moisture from the turkey but will stabilize in about one minute. (Safety tips: to prevent burns from the splattering oil wear oven mitts/gloves, long sleeves, heavy shoes and even glasses. It is wise to have two people lowering and raising the turkey.)
- Immediately check the oil temperature and increase the flame so the oil temperature is maintained at 350 degrees F. If the temperature drops to 340 degrees F or below, oil will begin to seep into the turkey.
- Fry about 3 to 4 minutes per pound, or about 35 to 42 minutes for a 10 to 12 pound turkey. Stay with the cooker at all times as the heat must be regulated.
- When cooked to 170 degrees F in the breast or 180 degrees F in the thigh, carefully remove the turkey from the hot oil. Allow the turkey to drain for a few minutes. (Safety tip: allow the oil to cool completely before storing or disposing.)
- Remove turkey from the rack and place on a serving platter. Allow to stand for 20 minutes before carving.
Yield: 12 servings
Recipe credit: National Turkey Federation