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Deep Fried Turkey

1.) Clean turkey well (as you do for roasting)
2.) If the turkey has been frozen, thaw it completely and pat dry with paper towels. Always thaw frozen poultry in the refrigerator, not on the countertop, to prevent bacterial growth.
3.) Do not stuff turkey when deep frying.
4.) Rub with dry seasoning of your choice. Suggestions are: seasoned salt and pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic salt, onion salt, Cajun seasonings or Italian seasonings.
5.) The turkey may be injected with liquid seasonings (there are syringes available for this purpose). Several possibilities are: hot pepper sauce, Italian salad dressing or liquid Cajun seasonings.
6.) Peanut oil is best for deep frying.
7.) You need a very large pot (for example, use a 26-quart aluminum pot for a 16-pound turkey). An outdoor cooker is best for this process.
8.) To determine how much oil to use, first fill pot with water and place turkey into water. Water should cover turkey without spilling over. Adjust water level as needed. Remove turkey and note water level (or measure water). Dry pot and turkey well before adding oil. It usually takes 3 to 5 gallons of oil.
9.) Heat oil to 350 degrees (or until nearly smoking). Plan on 45 minutes to an hour to heat the oil, checking it with a deep frying thermometer.
10.) Using great care and common-sense precautions, slowly immerse the turkey into the hot oil, neck down.
11.) Cook 3 1/2 - 4 1/2 minutes per pound or until meat thermometer registers 180 degrees. The turkey tends to float when done.
12.) If you are using propane or any type open flame, it is best to turn it off before removing the bird. Use the same device (basket, rack, hook or coat hangers) with which the bird was lowered to remove the turkey from the cooker, exercising the same care you did when lowering it into the oil.
13.) Use extreme care when lowering and raising the turkey to prevent spills and burns.
14.) Drain turkey well on paper towels.
15.) Wrap drained turkey in foil to keep warm.
16.) Allow turkey to rest 15-20 minutes before carving.
17.) Carve and enjoy this treat. Remember that with wild turkeys, the meat of the legs and thighs is quite tough and sinewy. It is best set aside for use in soups, stews, sandwiches or to make paté.

March 2009 recipe.