Behind the Scenes in Food Network Kitchens: Deep-Fried Turkey

by in Behind the Scenes, Holidays, November 24th, 2010
Recipe tester Leah Brickley (cautiously!) experiments with indoor turkey-frying in Food Network Kitchens.

Sometimes being married to a kitchen gadget geek has its perks. For our November issue of Food Network Magazine, we had to test Cat Cora’s deep-fried turkey recipe. Deep-fried turkeys have become really popular over the past few years and Cat’s is rubbed with a delicious Cajun spice blend. The turkey comes out crispy and really flavorful.

Our test kitchen is located in New York City’s Chelsea Market building, and the outdoor green space available to set up a vat of boiling oil is very limited to non-existent. Luckily, my husband, Paul, had a rather interesting solution to my deep-fryer problems: Why not fry it indoors? At first I thought he was crazy, but then he told me about this new (and safe) indoor turkey fryer made by MasterBuilt. It sits right on your counter, uses about half the amount the oil and has a safety magnetic break-away cord.

Even with all the safety features, I was still wary. I put on a big pair of rubber gloves and slowly and cautiously lowered to turkey into the hot oil (Tip: make sure your turkey is completely dry before frying. I let it sit uncovered overnight in the fridge to help). About 45 minutes later, I had no disasters, easy clean-up and a beautifully golden turkey. If you have the outdoor space and take all of the safety precautions, then deep-frying outside can be great. But if you are limited on green space and have enough counter space, deep-frying inside with this gadget can be an alternative.

Check out our Thanksgiving Turkey package: It’s full of turkey tips and dozens of recipes, including several variations of deep-fried birds.

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Comments (8)

  1. Cyndi says:

    I have experimented with every size bird from Cornish Hens to Turkeys – they are beautifully done, but the skin simply is NOT crisp, whether we put the poultry in at 250 and raise to 350, or in at straight 350. How do I fix this?

    • Leah says:

      The crispiness of a deep fried bird can be short-lived once it's removed from the oil and allowed to rest. The real advantage to deep frying is that it only takes 45 to 60 minutes, for a relatively large bird, and the meat is moist and juicy. One trick, to ensure that your skin gets crispy, is for your bird to be completely dry. Rinse and dry it with paper towels and then leave it, uncovered, in your fridge overnight.

  2. Rich says:

    We always fry on Thanksgiving Day. Could we do it the day before? If so, what would be the best way to store and reheat?

  3. chef1john says:

    Hello Chefs Food network, does anyone have a Video best way to D-Bone a whole Turkey? To make roland

  4. Paryb says:

    It's not hard Kerry, just use a bit of skin and a chunk or two of dark meat off the turkey.

    Alternatively, you could make some turkey stock by boiling the bones and the skin and whatever you can't get off the bones in a stock pot for a while, ten strain it, pull off the collogen/fat and you end up with some awesome stock. I always deep fry a small turkey ahead of time just so I can make stock.

  5. David says:

    Gravy is something to aspire to! I do different types but a basic on for a fried turkey would be equal parts oil and flour to make a roux. Whisk until the color you wish – I shoot for golden. Then add copious amount of chicken stock (turkey if you have it – we often do a roasted and fried bird) or milk and water to the consistency you desire. Keep whisking!! It develops character. :-)

  6. Birdsongplace says:

    Here is a link to a wonderful gravy recipe. The author is a radio personality in the Los Angeles area. I have made numerous of her recipes and have never been disappointed. For this recipe you do need some turkey parts and advanced planning but it is so good you absolutely want to drink it! http://www.melindalee.com/index.php?option=com_ga

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