Francis' Dangerously Fried Turkey

Posted by Unknown Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Taste Level: VGR
Cost: $20 and over
Serves: 12-14
Prep Time: 12 hours.
Cook Time: 45-50 min.
Difficulty: 2
Anyone can fry up a good turkey with the right equipment but only a few can do so without burning themselves or their house down!  So how do I make a Dangerously Fried Turkey without burning down the house or searing my hands off?  It is simple or is it?!?
Step One
Know how much oil you need in advance.  Before you even think about cooking the bird or brining it for that matter make sure the turkey is going to fit in your pot and see how much oil you are going to need.  This is easily done by placing the bird in the pot and filling it with water until the bird is almost fully submerged.  Remove the bird and the remaining amount of water will be the amount of oil needed.  This is also a good time to make sure the amount of oil needed is not going to be above your fill line.  If it is above your fill line then you are going to need a smaller bird (which means you are going to have to cook this one a different way.)  It is good to know how large of a bird you can cook in your fryer.  I can cook up to a  20 lb bird but find for myself anything above a 13lb bird makes too much of a mess and is too unwieldy for me to handle.  Which leads me to...

Step Two
Practice moving the turkey around on the hanger with the hook handle.  Depending on your set up this could be a little different.  Mine comes with a large turkey stand with a ring that comes out of the top of the bird.  The hook latches on to the ring and at the end of the bar is a Triangle handle to grip.  This is a weird way to move around food and it is not a bad idea to practice moving the bird around like this.  You can practice when filling the pot with water and when putting the turkey in your large pot to brine.  Any practice is going to help you when it comes to carefully dipping the turkey into the hot oil.  There is no stopping once you get to that point and you better know you are going to be strong enough and practiced enough not to drop the turkey and burn down half of your city.

Step Three
We brine the turkey so it is super moist but have you ever dropped something damp into a pan full of hot oil.  It spits and splatters everywhere.  You scream, "Ow ow oh ahh owie (then a few cuss words for good measure,)" as the oil hits your hands, arms and in most of my cases my feet.  Well now imagine that you have a damp 13 lb turkey dangling on a rod and you are dropping it into 3 gallons of hot oil...  Yeah... That is really going to hurt!  So when you remove the bird from the brine make sure the Turkey is super dried off on the outside by really rubbing it down with a large towel.  Now a disclaimer.  I have a rub that I put on the turkey that uses some lime juice.  It spits and splatters before frying it onto the crust.  I know this is going to happen and prepare for it.  So if you want to use a rub like I use make sure to read the next step!

Step Four
Suit up properly.  For heaven sakes wear shoes, oven mitts (or better yet wielding gloves,) pants, long sleeves and an apron.  It may be a bit over kill but a wielders mask is not a bad idea.  I tell you below to turn off the flame before starting to dip the bird because that will help with any oil that may drip into the flame and flare up, well there is no way to stop the hot oil from splattering and hitting you if something goes wrong so wear proper attire!  Also have your wits about you...  Yep the next and final step.

Step Five
Don't drink in alcohol until the bird is done cooking, you have removed it from the pot and it is sitting on the counter covered in aluminum foil! I have a scar from an oil burn on my right hand that is about the size and shape of a jumbo Lima bean, why?  Because I had a beer, put the bird into the oil, decided to have a couple more beers as I relaxed with friends while it cooked...  Internal temp gauge goes off, I jump up to get the turkey, realize I'd had more to drink than I had though but due to my brain being nice and fuzzy decided I could still handle a dangerous situation with just a t-shirt and shorts on...  I manhandled the turkey out of the oil and in the process some of the oil splashed out towards my feet, I jumped back luckily avoiding the oil but in the process dropped the turkey back into the oil causing oil to shoot up through the cavity onto my hand.  Fried hand is not what you are trying to make here... So avoid the booze until the bird is done!
13 lb Turkey (defrosted)
3 to 3.5 gallons of peanut oil
2/3 cup light brown sugar
6 large cloves garlic (crushed)
3 cinnamon sticks
6 coronas
1 cup kosher salt (3/4 cup if you use store bought essence)
3 1/2 limes freshly squeezed juice
2 green onions (chopped)
6 jalapenos (chopped)
1 limes juice and pulp
2 tbsp essence
2 drips liquid smoke
2 tbsp black truffle oil
2 tbsp honey
red pepper flakes (to taste)
Mix brine ingredients in a very large stockpot and then add Turkey (if the turkey comes with the organs and neck places this in the brine as well.. If the mixture does not fully cover hens add just enough water so that they can be fully submerged. Cover and let chill 12 hours
Mix rub ingredients together in a small bowl and sit to side until ready to use.
Remove turkey from brine, drain and place on a large pan. Rub dry with a towel and then massage the rub into the turkey, let sit until oil is heated. (Strain the brine and save all organs, neck and one half of strained green onions, garlic and jalapenos for making gravy.)
Fill pot to fill line with peanut oil and heat to 350 degrees.
Place turkey on cooking stand and being very careful (wear mitts, use the hook, turn off the flame and wear and apron) slowly dip the turkey into the oil until fully submerged.  Turn the flame back on and re-heat the oil to 350 degrees. Cook at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 50 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.
Remove the turkey carefully, gently shaking so any extra oil drips into the pot, place in dish and cover in aluminum foil for 20 minutes. Carve up and enjoy!
(For Gravy: Dice up meat from neck, heart liver etc.  Heat 1 tbsp of butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat.  Once heated add diced up meat along with one half of strained green onions, garlic and jalapenos from brine.  Saute for 10 minutes.  Mix 1 cup of warm water, 1/2 cup milk and 3 tbsp of flour in a small mixing bowl.  Add to the meat and vegetable mixture.  Cook for 7-10 minutes stirring often or until gravy has thickened to your liking.  If it gets to think add a little water or milk.


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