"Deep Fried" is not a term you think of when you think of healthy eating. But deep fried turkey, well, you just have to not think about healthy eating... at least not for awhile. Deep fried turkey has become a tradition at the farm, and this Thanksgiving was no exception. This blogger decided to chronicle the crisping of two ole' birds.Lissette, the future bride, had the honors of injecting the ole bird. She did it with Italian dressing. Larry was talking to the poor turkey as he carried it to the hot, boiling cauldron of peanut oil...He began to carefully lower the poor thing into the hot oil...Note Larry's stance - standing back so the hot oil doesn't splatter on his legs - his legs that are preparing for his 64th (or is it 65th) full marathon. Yep, you heard me right. This guy is an avid marathon runner. Notice my little brother. He's taking careful instructions from Larry, both on lowering a turkey and in standing back from the oil. See, my little brother is also in training, for a half-marathon, a mere 13 mile run. See you later, Turk...Kind of like lowering yourself into a hot tub...
This is Larry... my guy's older brother. He's not older by much... like 11 months. But still, he's the eldest of the Johnston brothers. He's an expert at lowering a turkey into hot oil, as you have just witnessed.
Watching the thermometer is an IMPORTANT part of deep frying a turkey. My dear boys and my dear son-in-law learned that one year, deep down in San Diego... at Thanksgiving... when they didn't believe their wise father/father-in-law. We'll just forget that story for right now.... Just so you know, the temperature needs to be a CONSISTENT 325 degrees. You may notice that this thermometer is NOT at 325. That's OK, because the men aren't timing the cooking yet. This picture has absolutely nothing to do with cooking the turkey. Sami was out observing the entire operation. I happened to notice that she and Larry both had on Cowboy jerseys... that would be DALLAS COWBOY jerseys. They were getting ready to play. Football is big in Texas!Fast forward 3.5 minutes per pound of turkey...and look what you get!Here comes bird #2. We'll check out the cooked bird in a minute. We (notice I said "we"... which would indicate I was helping.) I do notice my little brother is doing his part by holding the lid of the cauldron, the hot cauldron. I'd think the lid would be hot. My little brother is just tough... standing there with a smile on his face holding that hot lid! I think Larry is wondering why his little brother, my guy, is just standing there doing nothing.
Look how much fun they're having!
You may notice my guy checking his watch. This is NOT when you start timing the turkey. Remember, you have to wait until the oil, the hot peanut oil, comes back to 325 degrees. Knowing my guy, he's going to see how long it takes for the oil to heat back up. Brenda wanted to make sure she was in the picture. Brenda LOVES deep fried turkey.... actually, Brenda just loves to eat. She plans her vacations around the cuisine of a country.OK, NOW the timing can begin. Dave, in the maroon shirt, is the younger of the Johnston brothers. He wanted to be a part of the cooking team too.Looks kind of like a parade, don't you think? My guy is leading the way with this luscious deep fried turkey. Looks like everyone is going to follow him straight into the kitchen.Come on in...Here's Grammy/Jo/Mom, who is so proud of her middle child, her middle son, for bringing in these turkeys!A turkey portrait...Oops! This ole bird kind of... well, it broke in half! A lopsided picture for a lopsided bird. My guy, along with the rest of us, thought it was pretty funny.Sandra brought over a hot pad ... just in case...Larry is coming over with his napkin opened, ready for his little brother to drop some of that fresh, hot, juicy, deep fried turkey right inside so he could try it out. When you're a marathoner, and happen to be 6'6" tall, you need a lot of calories!
Martha Stewart probably wouldn't put this creation in one of her cookbooks, but my guy had some fun arranging the turkey on the platter. He left the drumsticks whole because his 6'6" marathoner brother likes to eat them that way. Notice there are 4 drumsticks? Remember, this was 2 turkeys.
A minor problem, some might say major problem, cropped up because of the deep fried turkeys. That problem would be - gravy, or the lack of gravy. We actually were also baking a turkey, but it wasn't ready, so we had no juice.
It was time to improvise. I asked Jo if she had any gravy mix. No. Ok, plan B... scoop out any and all juice from the pan the turkeys were put in after they were taken out of their cauldron. Saddie helped out with this scooping. We scooped and scooped...My guy added little bits of meat from the bird...
Jo stirred, and added, and stirred, and added...
Then she said, "Here Bonnie. What do you think?"
"Um, um... Jo, you ripped your drawers on that one!" (Translation, it's delicious!)
And it was!