A Grand Thanksgiving Tradition-
Frying The Thanksgiving Turkey
(if you have never had a good fried turkey, don't stick your nose up: it is superb).
My friend Mark fried a turkey this year, starting about 4pm and going on into the evening. For the uninitiated, it only takes about forty-five minutes to actually fry the bird, prep time is much longer.
We join the process already part way into the prep: the bird has been thawed and is waiting, the tools collected and, most importantly, the amount of oil required determined. Again for the uninitiated, most of the horror stories about fires and injury come from not doing that last step: there is a displacement method for determining how much oil: too much and you will have a 350 degree overflow disaster!
So here we go...
Oil into the pot,
in this case four gallons of a good grade peanut oil/ vegetable oil blend. The Chef insists on fresh oil every time!
Read the instructions
(OK, truth be known, we didn't do this: Mark has done enough turkeys that HE could write the instructions)
Well drained, The Bird is moved outside for the next important step: injecting.
Want moist cooked turkey meat? the SECRET is injecting.
With what you ask? Unfortunately that is one of a Chef's Most Closely Guarded Secrets... you would have to be killed if the Truth Were Known. It involves spices, wine, juices, and the contents of assorted other unmarked containers.
The Moment of Truth:
The bird is s l o w l y lowered into the 350 degree oil, which takes offense to the intrusion and becomes VERY violent.
The temperature, by the way, is very important because it crisps and seals the skin, rather than soaking in.
Turkey is frying, clock is running... 45 minutes to completion!!
No traditional image of Carving the Bird. I couldn't hold camera and carving utensils at the same time... and everyone else was running around bringing out food, sampling the wine to make sure it was OK, etc.
(the bird, mostly carved to nothing, is out of sight at the other end of the table)
Weather Note: 75 degrees at dinner time... an outdoor evening!
Mark's Fried Turkey, Jodi's Mashed Potatoes with real giblet Gravy, Fresh Squash Casserole, Fresh Turnip Greens (thanx, Ruth!!), Marinated Green Bean Salad, Cranberry Relish, Fresh Rolls, Assorted Wines (thanx, Mike!).
Topped off with good friends and family,
and the memories of those who are at sea (special family tradition... subject of another posting).