Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Thanksgiving Tradition, with a Twist - The Deep Fried Turkey!

A Delicious Feast – with a twist!

Ever consider something a little bit different for Thanksgiving? Perhaps this year could be the year to break tradition and try something fun and exciting! How about feasting on a delicious Deep Fried Turkey with Stuffing, Cole Slaw, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, with Pumpkin Cheesecake for desert!!

Why deep fry? Doesn’t that add a whole bunch of FAT to the turkey?

Now, I’m no dietician, however, think about this for a second. When you bake a turkey, the fat in the bird drips out of it, into a pan and is collected, turned into gravy, and poured back on top of the turkey & potatoes (and other things!). In a deep fried turkey, the hot oil singes the exterior of the bird, trapping all that juice inside the bird, where it keeps the meat tender, juicy and delicious! I do tend to avoid eating the exterior of the turkey though!

How to deep fry a turkey?

****DISCLAIMER***** Deep Frying ANYTHING is dangerous. Please be extra cautious and have a contingency plan if something happens to go wrong. If you wish, I will happily come by and share my knowledge and experience as you prepare and eat your delicious thanksgiving feast.

I recommend using “Butterball” brand turkeys. They are consistently the most moist, delicious turkeys available. I recommend smaller turkeys, between 10 and 15 pounds. When Deep Frying, the turkey must be COMPLETELY THAWED, cleaned out, and dried off prior to cooking. Place the turkey on the included metal “poultry holder.” Do not use a stuffed turkey!!!

Assemble your deep fryer, as per manufacturers instructions. See below for specific tips on setup!

HOW MUCH OIL TO USE - Place your turkey in the pot, and fill it with water until the entire bird is JUST covered. Remove the bird and measure the volume of water required. (I normally visually measure it, or measure the distance from the top of the pot to the water level). Empty the pot and dry all of the water. Fill the pot with the same volume of oil (use a quality oil with a high smoking point – 450°F preferably). The pot should not be more than ¾ full when the bird is added, or you may risk of splatter or fire!

Heat the oil to 350°F. Once the oil is at a steady temperature, using oven mitts and the included hook, SLOWLY and CAREFULLY lower the turkey into the pot. It is normal to splatter a little bit, so be mindful of the splattering oil. It is normal for the temperature of the oil to decrease by 40 – 50 degrees after the turkey is immersed, but avoid over-heating the oil – if the temperature was steady before, it will return to 350° again.

Keep an eye on the temperature. Never let it get too much hotter than 350°. The bird wil need about 3.5 minutes per pound to be completely cooked. That means your average turkey will be delicious in under an hour. Yumm!! Let it stand for about 10 minutes before you carve it.

Large outdoor Deep Fryer kits are available from Hardware stores such as Canadian Tire, and TSC Stores. Grab one that has the poultry holder, and lifter. Be sure to seat your deep fryer on a stable, flat surface, and if there happens to be snow (oh no!), consider placing it on a piece of plywood or paneling, so the snow that is supporting it doesn’t melt in the event of splatter!! It is not recommended to place your deep fryer on concrete or patio stones, as splattering oil can cause long-lasting stains or damage! Grass is best! Also, be sure to have it a safe distance away from any combustibles, such as your deck, house, or shed!

Ben Sage, Sales Representative. Re/Max a-b Realty Ltd., Brokerage. 519-536-7535. 521 Dundas St., Woodstock, ON

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