November 27, 2008
Originally published November 26, 2003
I suppose that I'll go over to mama's house tomorrow. She going to cook a turkey and some shuck beans. I LOVE shuck beans.
A couple of years ago, I broke my mama's heart by cooking a turkey better than the one she prepared. We had a lot of the family arrive from all over the country for a big feast that year and no one had ever tasted a deep-fried turkey before. That's how I cooked mine and it was sucked up to the bare bones in nothing flat. Mama had leftover turkey. I didn't.
If you've ever deep-fried a turkey, you'll never bake one in the oven again. I have a turkey cooker and I do the frying outside on a propane grill, but you can do it in any large pot on the kitchen stove if you're careful.
I once fried four turkeys, back-to-back on Thanksgiving morning and was finished with all four before noon that day. I use peanut oil, keep the grease between 325 and 350 degrees and allow three minutes per pound to cook the bird. A 20-pound turkey takes one hour. Frying results in the juciest, sweetest, most tender turkey you'll ever put in your mouth. I had the practice refined to an art form.
I'll probably never fry another turkey again. I got a free turkey from work last year and gave it away to Jack's mom. I seldom cook anymore and I have no use for a 20-pound bird on Thanksgiving.
Hell. I have no use for Thanksgiving anymore.
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