I brined the turkey overnight, using this brine recipe from Deep South Dish. (If you don't use recipes from Deep South Dish yet, you should. Everything Mary publishes is simply delicious.) After pulling the turkey out from the brine, I put it in a roasting pan and stuck it in the oven at 175 while the oil heated in the fryer, which takes about 40 minutes.
If you are cooking a large mass of meat and you don't warm it first, it cools the oil in the fryer by a couple hundred degrees and then things take a long time. Also, I'm sure the cooking process is completely different as the meat is then in 200-degree oil instead of 350-degree oil. I discovered this process with Cornish game hens and have used it ever since. I don't do it with small things like catfish nuggets, but for big things like chickens, I pre-heat the meat.
Frying takes 3-4 minutes per pound. As I like things crispy and the oil temperature had dropped significantly despite the pre-heating, I went more towards the 4-minute side of that range. At any rate, in about an hour, the bird was golden brown and a meat thermometer showed it was cooked all the way through. The result was heaps of deliciousness. Even the Catican Guards got some, with the standard tryptophanic consequences.
I hope you and yours had a great Thanksgiving, too. Enjoy the photos below and if you feel so moved, leave a comment and share your Thanksgiving meal with the rest of us.
|Both the bird and the cook were properly brined.|
|Down she goes!|
|A deep fryer in action emits a delightful sound. Bubbling delight!|
|Let the feast begin!|
|I don't want any more treats, Daddy. I just want to lay here in a warm, golden haze.|