MATT'S FRIED TURKEY
I started frying turkeys at Thanksgiving when in lived in Baton Rouge in 1989. At Thanksgiving 1991, I fried
my first turkey in Jackson Hole. I had to ship the pot up to Wyoming, and rather than pay to ship it back to
New Orleans, I sold it to a guy who lived there. I did the same thing in 1992. In 1993, I saw handbills around
the square that the guy I sold the pots to (his name is Brian) was charging to fry turkeys for others. Over the
years, I've fried over 100 turkeys in Jackson. I'm practically the Colonel Sanders of Teton County.
Here's what I've learned over the years...
1 pot (The 22-gallon pots that come with frying kits will not accommodate a 20-pound turkey.
Unlike people in Jackson Hole, you can go to Wal-Mart and get a 40-gallon pot.
It's a perfect size because it will handle your bird for one 10 gallon container of peanut oil.)
1 propane burner. (If you're frying more than six turkeys, have a back-up.)
1 crescent wrench. (For attaching propane tank to burner. You'd be surprised how many times
I've had to borrow one from Runt on Christmas morning.)
1 pair work gloves (I forgot to get them one year and nearly burned my hand off.)
1 meat thermometer (Get one with a really long shaft.)
1 turkey (Get a frozen turkey. Frying a fresh or free-range turkey is a waste of your
hard-earned money. My theory is that if you're going to the trouble, you might as
well get the biggest one you can find.)
1 10-gallon container peanut oil
1 injection needle
1 pan (I wait for them to go on sale at Kroger for 99 cents)
1 rental car
1 eight ounce container of Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning Salt (green box)
2 jars of onion juice
2 jars of garlic juice
1 pound of butter
1 container of Tony Chachere's pre-mixed injector (I like the Creole Butter recipe.)
On the night before you want to serve the turkey, melt the butter and mix with the onion and garlic juice.
Inject into turkey. (I generally give each leg, wing and thigh) one injector-full and put the rest into the
Using the entire can of Tony Chachere's, give the turkey a crust. (Don't forget to do the bottom or back
of the turkey.)
Store in a cool place overnight. This is where the rental car comes in. You can put seven or eight in
the trunk, and no one will complain about the garlic smell.
Put peanut oil into pot and put it on the burner. Pre-heat to 325 degrees. When the peanut oil gets
reaches 325, put turkey into the oil.
Remember how big your turkey is and fry for three minutes per pound. (At high altitudes, it's four
minutes per pound. If you want to cheat, you can wait until the turkey floats to the top of the grease, wait
five minutes, then pull it out.
Test to be sure that it's done by cutting into the thigh. For some reason, it's the last thing to get cooked.
If you're not going to clean up right away, take the peanut oil off the burner. This will have the
combined benefits of: 1) being sure that you've turned off the gas; and 2) being sure that no
neighborhood dog tips a pot of hot grease over onto your driveway or yard. (Don't ask me how I know.)
Fried turkey freezes well. Another good reason to fry a large one.