No…not us! I was referring to the two different turkeys we made for Thanksgiving this year, but we have been a bit fowl (teehee) for not posting in so long! The M family has recently moved to the burbs and it’s been a crazy few months of packing, unpacking, and settling into our new place with Baby T. I think I was also on the sidelines deciding whether or not I wanted to continue this blog, but I’ve suddenly been motivated to get going again as we approach our two year anniversary of the 2 Sisters 2 Cities blog! (It doesn’t hurt that Husband M also decided to write most of this blog entry to get me going…)
We hosted our first Thanksgiving in our new home this year with my parents and all 3 sisters making the trip to the Boston area (including Sister K!) A few years ago, we had purchased a turkey fryer to keep a large batch of gumbo warm for a football tailgate. It had sat sadly in storage for many years. This year, we decided to bring it out for a battle of the two turkeys…fried vs. roasted! Here is Husband M’s rendition of the fried turkey tale:
Frying a turkey for Thanksgiving was something we had always wanted to do because we heard how good fried turkey tastes. We had been somewhat cautious after hearing how dangerous this can be, as some serious accidents and fires have occurred as a result of improper turkey frying (search the internet for turkey frying.) However, after following directions properly and using caution, we are happy to report that our fried turkey was a great success. We had one slight distraction- an unexpected and ironic guest, which we will discuss in a minute.
1) One small to medium-size turkey, depending on pot size (we used 11 lbs).
2) Some type of dry spice rub to put on the turkey before frying (we used Paula Deen’s version found here)
3) Peanut oil (we bought a large vat at Costco)
Anyone doing this should consult the proper instructions that come with the proper equipment, but here is a description of the steps we undertook that lead to a successful outcome
-Using proper equipment and being located outside, at least twenty feet from any structure.
-Filling the oil only partially (measuring displacement with water first). You don’t want hot oil overflowing out of your pot and on to the flame- this will cause an explosion.
-Not letting the oil temperature exceed 350 degrees.
-Making sure the turkey was completely thawed and dry. This required four full days of defrosting. This is a key step as throwing a frozen turkey in boiling oil will result in a fiery explosion (see results of internet search mentioned above).
-Turning the heat off while placing the turkey in the pot. This way, if the oil were to boil over due to a mistake made in one of the points above, the overflowing oil would not fall on a hot flame and ignite.
-Letting the turkey fry for approximately 3.5 minutes per pound.
Again, these are just an illustrative description and not a complete set of instructions. This is a potentially dangerous process, and anyone looking to fry their own turkey should follow the full instructions that come with the equipment and/or speak with their local fire department. We are not responsible if you melt your face off or burn your house down.
The result was a fast cooking time and a tender bird with great taste. It was not oily at all, contrary to what one might think. I guess the oil just seals in all the moisture.
Here is a picture of our guest….look carefully. A wild turkey ran by our yard while we were cooking our turkey. Perhaps he is thankful he is not in that pot.
Here’s a final pic of the fried turkey…yum!:
We also did a basic roast turkey just in case Husband M botched up the friend turkey, ergh, I mean in case we wanted more turkey. We used this recipe in this year’s Cooking Light. My mom brought the gravy so we did not make the version in the recipe. We also used a Reynolds oven bag to cook the turkey in to seal in the moisture. Here’s a picture of me with the two finished birds sitting side by side:
The final verdict: we loved both of them! The skin on the fried turkey was amazing, but the oven bag really helped keep the roasted turkey moist. It may be a tale of two turkeys every year for Thanksgiving going forward.