Fried turkey is a great way to quickly cook your bird for the holidays. You will get crispy skin, moist meat and a free oven to cook your sides. All you need is some simple ingredients and a safe technique to get the best experience.
You will need the following items to safely fry your turkey.
22 - 30 qt. Pot
Long Heavy Duty Tongs or a Meat Hook
Medium Sized Cooler or Large Stockpot with Lid
Meat Thermometer - Stem Style
Brined and Fried Turkey Recipe
11 lb. Turkey
1 qt. Water
1.5 C Salt
1 C Sugar
1 C Apple Cider Vinegar
1 gal. Ice
Optional Flavor Enhancement
1/3 C Pepper Corns
10 Bay Leaves
1/4 C Dried Thyme
10 Garlic Cloves
2 gal Peanut Oil
1. Place your turkey while in the bag into your frying pot, then fill with water until the turkey is covered by one inch of water. Remove the turkey and mark where your water line is. That is how far up you should fill the pot with oil.
2. Place your brining ingredients into a saucepan, bring to a simmer and stir to dissolve the sugar and salt. Remove the brine from the heat and let cool.
3. Remove your turkey from the bag, drain any juices, remove any plastic and bag 'o' organs from the inside.
4. Place the turkey in a cooler or large stockpot with lid. Pour the brine over the turkey and then stir in the ice. The turkey should be totally under icy water. Brine for 12-16 hours, and it is important to keep ice cold during this process or your turkey will spoil. I like to keep it outside during this time.
5. Remove the turkey from the brine, drain and dry very well, then set out at room temp for 90 minutes to remove the chill from the bird.
6. Place the frying pot on your outdoor burner at least 10 feet from your house, preferably on concrete. Attach the candy thermometer and fill up with oil to the water mark you made earlier. Turn the heat on and heat the oil up to 350 F.
7. Tie the legs together with butchers twine and dry the turkey with paper towels one more time. Very slowly hook the turkey legs using long tongs or a meat hook and lower into the oil. Keep kids and pets away during this time.
8. Cook the turkey for about 25 minutes at 350 F. Adjust the fuel as needed to maintain the heat. With a friend carefully bring up the turkey halfway out of the oil and check the temperature of the bird using a stem thermometer. The deepest part of the thigh, not touching bone, should register at 175 F. If it needs more time, fry for another 5-10 minutes.
9. Remove the turkey from the oil and place on a clean platter. Let the turkey sit for 20 minutes before carving.
There is nothing I love more than a turkey breast sandwich. But the sliced turkey you get at the deli or prepackaged is often times a gelatinous blob of pressed turkey parts, fillers, artificial flavors and preservatives, water and salt.
If you like sliced turkey but hate deli style meats, try roasting your own turkey breast. You can find boneless turkey breasts at the grocery store for a fraction of the price of deli turkey with no added flavors or preservatives. Season with a little salt and pepper, then bake until the skin is crispy and you have lunches and dinners for the whole week.
Fresh Roasted Turkey Breast
2 lb. Turkey Breast
1 tbsp. Veg Oil
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Pepper
Pre heat the oven to 450 F. Place the turkey breast on a baking sheet, cover with oil and season with the salt and pepper. Bake the turkey for 30-40 minutes or until it reaches 165 F in the center of the breast. Remove the turkey from the oven and cover with foil for 10 minutes. Slice the turkey at an angle, very thin for sandwiches or chunks for salads.
You can season with a variety of spices and flavors. Try these flavor combinations.
Rosemary, Garlic and Lemon - Old Bay - Dry BBQ Rubs - Jamaican Jerk - Teriyaki - Indian Curry - Southwest Taco - French Herbs - Roasted Tomato and Basil - Orange Marmalade
Roasting a chicken is a very simple and easy skill that can be done with so many flavors. I like to keep things simple with salt, pepper, lemon, fresh garlic and rosemary. You can pop this in the oven for an hour and it will turn out perfect every time. The goal is to cook the chicken so the meat is moist and tender, while roasting the skin so it is crispy and flavorful.
If you dig this method, try seasoning your chix with cumin, chili powder and lime juice for a Mexican theme, use a BBQ dry rub for quick down home flavor, or marinate in honey, soy sauce and chili flakes for a Chinese style dinner.
Roasted Rosemary Garlic and Lemon Chicken
3-4 lbs. Chicken, bone in, chopped
1 tbsp. Salt
1 tsp. Pepper
2 tbsp. Olive Oil
1 head Garlic, cloves smashed
3 sprigs Fresh Rosemary, chopped
1 Lemon, quartered
Pre heat the oven to 425 F. Place the chicken on a baking sheet and season on both sides with salt, pepper, olive oil, lemon juice and chopped rosemary. Place the smashed garlic cloves, rosemary stems and lemon rinds throughout the chicken and bake for 1 hour. Using a large spoon, baste the chicken every 20 minutes. Reserve the chicken juices to serve with the chicken.
The chicken is done when the temperature of the meat is 165 F and is not longer pink. You can use a meat thermometer, which is the best way, or simply cut into the meat to check for doneness.
Place all ingredients into a bowl and marinate for 1 hour. Place your grill over medium heat. When it is hot, place the chicken on the grill and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side or until cooked through.
If you want to marinate a whole chicken, make a double batch of the marinade. When it is time to cook, you can bake at 400 F or grill over medium heat for 75-90 minutes. The chicken should reach 165 F in the thickest part of the breast or thigh, not touching the bone.
Rice and Beans
1 C Rice
13 oz. Canned Black Beans, rinsed
2 C Water
2 Bay Leaf
3 Garlic Cloves, crushed
½ tsp. Salt and Pepper
Place a medium saucepan over medium heat. Place all of the ingredients into the pan and bring to a boil for 30 seconds. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the rice sit for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork.
Peruvian Green Sauce
½ C Mayo
1/3 C Sour Cream
1 Lime, juiced
1 C Cilantro
2 Jalapeno, chopped with no seeds
2 Garlic Cloves
2 tbsp. Olive Oil
¼ tsp. Salt and pepper
Place all ingredients into a blender and pulse until smooth.
Place the chicken in a bowl and toss with the salt, pepper and cornstarch. Pre heat a large skillet over medium heat, add the 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan, when it smokes add the chicken in a single layer. Cook the chicken for 3 minutes. Turn the chicken and cook for 3 minutes to brown on all sides and cook through, then remove the chicken from the pan.
Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan, when it smokes add the onions and peppers. Toss the veggies, cook for 2-3 minutes until lightly browned, then remove from the pan.
Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan, then add the garlic, ginger and chili flakes. Cook this for 15 seconds and then add the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and sugar. Cook for 15 - 30 seconds, then add the chicken and vegetables back to the pan. Toss the mixture to cover in the sauce and cook until thick, about 2 minutes. Toss in the peanuts and serve immediately.
Enchiladas are a classic baked tortilla dish that is usually filled with cheese, meat, veggies or beans and topped with a red, tomato/chili based sauce. This recipe uses chicken, a mixture of veggies and cheese, and is baked in a green tomatillo sauce.
I like to use rotisserie chicken or leftover baked chicken and then throw in any cooked veggies I have on hand. Start out with onions and peppers and then add anything you like including zucchini, carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli, spinach, kale, peas, beans, tofu, seitan. You can make this all veggie style with veggies and beans, or super meaty style with a mixture of chopped or shredded beef and pork. You can also add a mixture of cheeses like cheddar, pepper jack, goat or feta, and use fresh or store bought red enchilada sauce or green salsa verde.
1.5 lbs. Chicken, cooked and chopped
1 C Onion, small dice
1/2 C Bell Pepper, small dice
1/2 C Corn, fresh, frozen or canned
3/4 C Sour Cream
1 C Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
1 tsp. Salt and Pepper
1 tsp. Cumin
1 tsp. Chili Powder
15 Corn and Flour Tortillas, small size
3 C Green Sauce or Salsa Verde
1 C Cheddar or Jack Cheese, shredded
Pre heat the oven to 400 F and lightly oil a large casserole dish. Place the first 9 ingredients into a bowl and mix to combine. Place the tortillas on a flat surface, place 1/3 - 1/2 cup of filling in the middle and then roll tightly. Place the rolled tortilla into a large casserole dish, then continue to roll the tortillas with filling and pack tightly in the dish.
Pour the green sauce over the enchiladas, top with cheese, cover tightly with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil from the dish and cook for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve the hot enchiladas with sour cream and fresh pico de gallo.
Tomatillo - Green Sauce
2 tbsp. Veg or Olive Oil
1 C Onion, small dice
2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
1 tbsp. Jalapeño, chopped
1.5 C Tomatillos, chopped
2 C Chicken Stock, no salt
1 tsp. Cumin
1 tsp. Dried Oregano
1 tsp. Salt and Pepper
Place a small pot over medium heat. Add the oil to the pot, and when it smokes, add the onions, garlic and jalapeño. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the tomatillos, chicken stock and seasonings. Stir the mixture and simmer the sauce for 15 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat and carefully use a hand blender to pulse until smooth. If you do not have a hand blender, place 1 cup of the sauce into a blender at a time, top lightly with a towel and pulse on low power until smooth. Repeat with the rest of the sauce.
Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper and then lightly dredge in flour, shaking off any extra. Place a large skillet over medium heat and add half of the butter and oil to the pan. When the oil starts to shimmer, place 3 pieces of chicken into the pan. It should sizzle right a way. Cook for three minutes or until the bottom starts to brown lightly. Turn the chicken and repeat. Remove the chicken from the pan, add the rest of the butter and oil to the pan and repeat with the remaining chicken. Remove the chicken from the pan, then add the onions and cook until soft. Add the capers, lemon juice and chicken stock stirring up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Place the chicken and any juices back in to the pan and simmer on low heat, until the sauce is thick, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in a tablespoon of butter into the sauce and then season with salt and pepper.
Garnish the chicken with fresh parsley and serve with pasta, steamed vegetables, potatoes, grains or rice.
Place the potatoes into a medium pot and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil and cook until soft, about 30 minutes. Drain the potatoes very well, then smash together with milk and butter. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper and set aside.
While the potatoes are cooking, pre heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil to the pan, when it smokes place the ground meat into the pan. Cook the meat until cooked through. Drain the grease from the pan by using a wad of paper towels and a pair of tongs. Add the onions to the pan and cook until the onions and beef are well browned. Stir in the flour and cook for one minute. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, soy sauce, beef broth and vegetables. Cook this mixture down until the sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Pre heat the oven to 425 F. Place the beef mixture into a casserole dish and top with a layer of mashed potatoes. Spread the potatoes out with the back of fork to leave a rough texture. Bake the shepherd's pie for 30 minutes or until golden brown. You can place under the broiler to get more browning action if you like.
Pre heat the oven to 400 F. Spread 2 tablespoons of oil on a large baking sheet and lay out the tortillas. Rub both sides of the tortillas in the oil, place in the oven an cook until crispy, about 10 minutes. Remove the tostadas form the oven and season with a pinch of salt.
Pre heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the rest of the oil to the pan. When the oil smokes, place the sausage, potato, onion and garlic in the pan and sauté (aka toss) for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
To serve, place a 1/4 C of the sausage/potato filling onto a tortilla and top with shredded cabbage, carrot, radish and cheese. Garnish with a squeeze of lime and chopped cilantro.
For an all veggie option, you can serve this with beans, chopped vegetables, sweet potatoes, tofu or tempeh.
3-4 lbs. Whole Chicken or Chopped Bone In Chicken Pieces
1 tbsp. Salt
1 tsp. Pepper
1 Onion, chopped
4 Celery, chopped
4 Carrots, chopped
2 Potatoes, chopped
2 qts. Chicken Stock, unsalted
2 C Water or White Wine (For Adults Only)
4 Bay Leaf
2 tsp. Thyme, dried
¼ C Flour
Pre heat the oven to 325 F. Heat a large oven safe pot or Dutch oven over medium heat; then add the oil to the pot. Season the chicken with the salt and pepper; place the chicken in the pot then brown on all sides. Add the next 8 ingredients to the pot, then cover and cook in the oven at 325 F for 90 minutes.
Remove the pot from the oven and carefully remove the lid. Remove the chicken from the pot, place on a baking sheet and let cool for 20 minutes. Place the pot on the stovetop and simmer on low heat. To thicken the stock, place the flour into a large bowl and whisk in 2 cups of the chicken stock until smooth. Slowly whisk this mixture back into the pot and continue to simmer.
Carefully separate the chicken meat from the bones and fat then stir it back into the pot. Season the stew with salt, pepper and thyme.
1 C Milk
1 tbsp. Vinegar
2 C Flour
¼ tsp. Baking Soda
1 tbsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Salt
6 tbsp. Butter, melted
Mix the milk and vinegar in a small bowl and let sit for 5 minutes to create the buttermilk. Place the flour, soda, powder and salt into a bowl and whisk to combine. Stir in the butter and buttermilk until a very thick dough has formed.
Place 1/3 cup, scoops of the batter, about 10-12 onto the top of the chicken stew. Make sure to leave some room in between the dumplings so they cook properly. Place the lid on the top of the pot and simmer on low heat for 13-15 minutes or until the dumplings have cooked through.