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In spite of the potential danger of lowering an unwieldy turkey into a small vat of boiling oil, fans of Cajun Deep-Fried Turkey say its worth the risk because the turkey comes out moist and juicy, and deep-frying cuts hours off the cooking time. It is definitely an outdoor activity. Most experts insist that the turkey weigh no more than 12 pounds. The turkeys are injected with a spicy marinade, then plunged into a pot of boiling oil and deep-fried. Following are tips to help you safely deep-fry a turkey. =B7 Handle turkey, pots and oil carefully. =B7 Use water to measure the capacity of your deep-fryer, if you are unsure how much oil will be needed. =B7 Hook a heavy wire coat hanger to the wire band that secures the turkey legs to help when lowering and lifting the turkey from the fryer. Use a sturdy cooking spoon, tongs or a large fork for extra support; dont depend on the wire band alone, as it can loosen during frying. Before removing the pot from the burner, let the oil cool 1 hour after the turkey has been removed and the burner is turned off. Before you begin to fry, you need to season the turkey. You can inject strained bottled Italian salad dressing for the marinade or use the Cajun Injector, a kit that includes a 16-ounce jar of marinade and a syringe-type injector. The kit is available at many supermarkets and specialty food shops. Use about 1 ounce of marinade per pound of turkey (its better to buy a fresh turkey than the pre-basted type because pre-basted turkeys are saltier, said Reece Williams, who helped develop the Injector). Marinades can be injected into a whole turkey in about 5 minutes. Remove the giblets from the turkey cavities, wash cavities and pat dry. Inject the marinade into the turkey thighs, legs and breast. Heat the oil to 350 degrees in a 40-quart cooker (such as a propane or butane cooker with a steamer basket and cover). Sprinkle Cajun seasonings over the entire bird and inside the cavity. Carefully lower the turkey into the oil and deep-fry 3 1/2 minutes per pound, maintaining oil at 350 degrees. Remove the turkey carefully and let oil cool. Makes 12 to 15 servings. Recipe by: Houston Chronicle, 11/96 Posted to recipelu-digest Volume 01 Number 435 by Lou Parris
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