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Cajun Fried Turkey

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-; Seasoning Mix ---
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cayenne
-; turkey ---
1 10 to 12 pound dressed turkey
preferably fresh; (never frozen), and
not injected with butter; seasonings, or
other flavorings
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup onions; finely chopped
1/4 cup celery; finely chopped
3 tablespoons garlic; minced
2 tablespoons green peppers; finely chopped
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cayenne
1 teaspoon blank pepper
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
-; Frying ---
5 gallons vegetable or peanut oil

If at all possible, select a fresh (never frozen) turkey and one that has not been injected with butter, seasonings, or other flavorings. You need a food injector with a fairly large hole to inject the turkey. Do this a day ahead, then cover and refrigerate until ready to cook. It is best to fry the turkey outdoors, using a propane burner or other outdoor cooking equipment on a concrete slab or some type of solid, level, and non slippery surface. A few drops of oil will probably bubble over, so have some old towels handy for wiping up slippery spots. Thoroughly combine the seasoning mix ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. To prepare the turkey: If your turkey comes with a metal prong that holds the cavity closed, remove and set aside. Remove the giblets and neck from the turkey - checking both ends. Remove any "pop-up" doneness indicator. In a large skillet, melt the butter over high heat until half melted. Add the onions and sauté about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the celery, garlic, hot peppers, salt, red pepper, and the black pepper. Cook until the mixture is a rich golden brown, about 3 minutes, stirring and scraping the pan bottom frequently. Add the stock and Worcestershire and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Blend on highest speed until mixture is a very smooth puree, pushing sides down as needed. Rinse and drain turkey well. Pour puree into the injector and inject into the turkey. Insert to the bone or to the depth of the injector needle, without piercing through the cavity. To fill the injection hole with as much puree as possible, begin to draw the needle out while injecting firmly. Make holes about 2 inches apart and use most of the puree in the meatiest areas. Be sure to inject some of the puree in the upper joint of the wing. Pour any remaining puree into the cavity of the turkey and rub it over the inner surface. Set turkey aside. Sprinkle the reserved seasoning mix evenly over the bird and inside the cavity, rubbing it in by hand and using it all. Place the neck back inside the cavity. Close the legs with the metal prong or tie with kitchen twine. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Equipment: Assemble all equipment and utensils before starting to fry the turkey. You will need: 1. A propane burner or other heat source with an adjustable control capable of a strong flame. 2. A very deep pot (8 gallon or larger) so the turkey will be totally submerged in hot oil with plenty left over - a depth of several extra inches for the oil to bubble in without bubbling over. 3. A large boiling or fry basket large enough to hold the turkey and fitting into the pot. The turkey will be slipped into and lifted out of the bubbling hot oil in the basket. 4. A thermometer that reads up to at least 400F and has a long probe and clip so it can be left in the oil while the turkey fries. 5. Two strong utensils for turning the turkey (20 inches or longer). It may be necessary to weight the turkey down by inserting a long-handled heatproof fork securely under the metal prong or by pressing down with some utensil. Do not use anything that would keep a section of skin from being exposed to the hot oil for frying. 6. A large platter or pan lined with several thicknesses of paper bags to drain the turkey once it's fried. 7. Plenty of hot pads. 8. Old towels to deal with any spilt oil. Let the turkey come to room temperature for 1 hour before frying. Place the turkey on its back inside the fry basket. Place the basket in the EMPTY pot and measure the turkey's height in the pot with a ruler. Remove basket and turkey. Place pot on the burner and fill with oil at least to cover the height of the turkey. Remember, the oil will be higher in the pot with the turkey submerged. It is recommended that a dress rehearsal be held to make sure that you can slip the turkey into the pot gently. Any splashing with super hot oil can be very dangerous. To fry: Heat oil to 400F. VERY CAREFULLY AND SLOWLY lower the basket containing the turkey into the oil. Immediately adjust the flame down slightly and maintain a temperature lowered to as close to 350F as possible. Oil should be hot enough to bubble during frying but not so hot that it burns the meat. Make sure the turkey is submerged while frying. Let the turkey fry until the juices run clear when you insert a skewer into the breast meat. Total frying time will be between 35 and 45 minutes. The fried turkey will look very dark brown when done. Carefully remove the basket and turkey from the hot oil and place turkey breast side down on a platter or pan lined with several thicknesses of brown paper bags and let drain for about 5 minutes. Then turn turkey over to drain and cool about 15 minutes before slicing. Again, be very careful with the hot oil. It is deadly. Posted to the BBQ List by Carey Starzinger on Sep 15, 1996. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Yield: 10 servings

Preparation Time: 0:00


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