Welcome to our website !

P.H.A.B.

project hot air balloon

deep-fried turkey

By 7:45 AM , ,

It's a universal truth that all things dunked into a cauldron of 375° oil comes out looking and tasting better. I mean, anything and everything. This year's Thanksgiving turkey was no exception.

Initially I wasn't even going to host Thanksgiving, but as the designated Thursday neared, I was getting antsy, like an alcoholic near an open bar. I love this Holiday. Probably my favorite. And try as I might, I can't NOT celebrate it. So to spice things up, I decided to deep fry the bird. For the first time ever. They say that you ought not try something you've never done before in front of an audience, or guests, as it were. But I kind of thrive on that all or nothing challenge, so I didn't even think twice. This idea came to me around 3 or 4 in the morning, as most of my brilliance does. And the best and worst of owning a smartphone is that you can shop for things whilst your head lay on your pillow and you're warm and snuggly under the covers.

Purchase. One turkey fryer. Free shipping. Transaction time 2 minutes.

The next day I walked to The Good Life, the little grocery store where I've always ordered my bird. This year's bird had to weigh in at 12 lbs. a lightweight fighter, because the fryer cannot accommodate any bigger.
People have been venturing into this culinary territory for many Thanksgivings past, but I didn't realize how many more hadn't. As the bright yellow and blue Butterball package from Amazon arrived at the office, there were gawkers surrounding me, wanting to hear how it all turns out on the day. I was met with skepticism, excitement, anxiety, fear, envy and awe from the villagers. You'd think I was an explorer setting out to see if the world was flat. The worst that could happen is that "he" turns out over/under-cooked, I get blisters and welts on my face from the splatters of lava-like oil and my house goes up in flames.

The Short Review
I'm never roasting another turkey, ever again.

The Long Review
And these are the supporting reasons why:
  1. It took 36 minutes. That's 3 min/lbs. 12x3=36 exactly.
  2. Skin was crisp, and the meat tender and juicy, cooked evenly right to the bone. No dry spots or bloody patches.
  3. Neat. There's a lid that you place and no oil splatters outside and beyond the fryer.
  4. Frees up the oven. Which means that you can cook all of your sides without waiting for the diva bird to come out of her dressing room when she's good and ready. As a result, my focus was on the supporting cast, which served the production well. I've never made a more magnificent stuffing. It was a smash hit.
  5. You're not exhiled from the party. Now this is the part that I never got. With the traditional turkey fryer it is propane-fueled, therefore it must be operated outside - in the last week of November! It's often raining, snowing and dark, while everybody else is drinking and laughing inside. No thank you. It's about as perilous and thankless as being a bounty hunter, zero fun on the job, and worth it only if you deliver the goods. The model I got is small, electric and sat on the kitchen counter. You'd have to be a masochist to prefer the former over the latter.
  6. 2 cups of oil. Okay, so that statement is misleading, because I used 2 gal. of oil (blend of peanut and canola). In the end the oil was clean and can be reused, so the only amount that was displaced when I poured it back into the jug ended up being just shy of 2 cups (1/2 cup of sediment, see point #8). A lot healthier than the traditional 4 sticks of butter.
  7. Dry rub seasons the bird better than a brine. I truly believed the brine was the holy grail for the last three Thanksgivings. But a dry rub recipe I got off of Epicurious, equal parts salt, pepper and garlic powder, was much simpler, faster and cleaner and just as effective on all counts. And it doesn't take up precious fridge space for two days. It doesn't sound like much, but it was delicioso.
  8. Easy clean up. There's a spigot on the model that I purchased and it drains the oil back into its original vessel while the "sediment" settles below that level without you ever lifting heavy containers of oil. Washing out all of the parts was as simple if not simpler than a heavily caked roasting pan.
I turned on the fryer when my guests arrived. It has a thermostat and timer that tells you when things are ready. We were having cocktails and hors d'eouvres when I lowered the bird into the fryer. Resume conversation.

Ding. By the time we were ready to refill our glasses, the bird was cooked.

I raised all free-range twelve pounds onto the carving board for a time out. The moment of truth was when I cut into the breast. The aroma of the turkey paired with the perfectly amber skin turned us all into mouth-watering Wile E. Coyotes with nothing but heart-shaped carnage in our eyes. As we heard the crispness of the skin when the knife pierced it and stream arose from the incision, all was quiet on this Western front.

I've never seen four people consume so much turkey before - and in complete silence.

What was left of the bird also kept very well. It didn't get limp and gummy as it sat in the fridge. Even the skin held up nicely, just like cold fried chicken the next day. Mmm. The deep fry kept the meat's form and flavor much better than any traditional roast.

Like I said, I'm never roasting a turkey ever again.

In fact, I'll probably deep fry just about everything from now on.
Watch me.

You Might Also Like

2 comments

  1. Girl, you are one crazy Be-atch!

    Wish I was there to see it with my own eyes.

    Having one of these tonight at a friend's party. Will it look as good as yours? I'll let you know.

    ReplyDelete