First the disclaimer. I don't like the taste of turkey. I don't know when I decided that, but it was sometime in my early adulthood, probably when eating a sub sandwich, thinking "I could be eating real meat". (Side note; I could start my own lsit of culinary no-nos - turkey, the looks/smells/taste of ketchup, margarine, milk, eggs, baked chicken and a host of others.) Anyhoo, at some point I decided that I didn't have to eat turkey, and so I've made first the Devil Reincarnate, and now My-Sugar-Na, make a ham for me on Thanksgiving to go with the traditional turkey.
At least 10 years ago I first heard about frying a turkey, that it keeps the meat way more juicy than baking it, and the cooking process is a lot quicker. I've always wanted to try it, but since I wouldn't actually eat it, I needed a proper foil, er, I mean wife as my testing dummy.
This was a dream meant to go unfulfilled, except for my sister a couple years ago for Christmas. My family draws names for Christmas and it seems like she is always getting my name. Over the past couple of years for Christmas, she has gotten me a turkey fryer, an outdoor grill light, a juicer (another thing I've always wanted) and a set of injectable marinades and hot sauces. (Another side note; I love that juicer, but fruit is too expensive to juice. The best glass of red grape juice that I've ever tasted cost about $7.23 for about 8 ounces.)
So this year for various reasons, none of the siblings was going to host Thanksgiving, and since we are hosting Christmas day, I decided to give it a try. Other than the expense ($26 for four gallons of peanut oil, a tank of propane, etc.) it went off without a hitch. The first thing that I did correct was watch the episode of Good Eats on the Food Network a couple of weeks ago. One of the big things that Alton Brown said was to brine the turkey in a solution of salt and brown sugar dissolved in hot water and ice for 8-12 hours. I don't exactly remember why that worked, but it did.
As soon as the Packers had finished polishing off the Lions, I took the turkey out to drain and allow it to air dry. I went outside and started the fryer, heating the oil to 250 degrees. When the oil got to temperature, I patted the turkey as dry as possible and lowered it into the hot oil. 30 minutes later (a total of 60 frigid minutes, oh by the way) I pulled the bird up out of the oil and it was this golden brown. I got it inside to set-up, drain and carve. The house smelled like apple pie, glazed ham and a bucket of Gold Rush chicken.
Carving the turkey was the hardest part, because it was so juicy. With just 30 minutes of cooking time, the turkey was thouroughly cooked. I did try a few scraps (mostly the fried skin!) and it was pretty good.