Cajun Turkey Seasoning
- 1/4 cup coarse kosher salt
- 2 tsp ground bay leaf
- 3 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp ground cayenne pepper
- 3 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tsp filé powder (ground sassafras)
- 3 tbsp white pepper
- 3 tbsp granulated garlic
- 2 tbsp dried basil
- 1 1/2 tbsp ground hot Hungarian paprika
- 1/4 cup liquid garlic
- 1/4 cup onion juice
- 2 tbsp liquid crab boil
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup cayenne pepper sauce
- 2 tbsp Cajun Turkey Seasoning see recipe above
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted
- 1 gallon cold water
- 2 cups cold water
- 2/3 cup coarse kosher salt
- 2/3 cup dark brown sugar firmly packed
- 1/2 cup cracked black pepper
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tbsp whole cloves
- 3/4 tbsp cracked allspice
- 3 bay leaves crumbled
- 3/4 tbsp crushed juniper berries
Cajun Fried Turkey
- 1 10-16 lb turkey Try to purchase a turkey that is not already injected with “enhancements.”
- Peanut or canola oil
Cajun Turkey Seasoning
- Combine all of the ingredients in a small mixing bowl.
- Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl.
- Combine the 2 cups of water, salt, sugar, and herbs in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the mixture to 1 gallon of cold water and cool completely.
Cajun Fried Turkey
- To determine how much oil to use, place the turkey in the stockpot before seasoning and add water until the turkey is just covered. Use a ruler to measure the distance from the top of the pot to the water level. There should be at least 3 inches from the top of the pot to the top of the turkey. Thoroughly dry the pot before filling it with the oil.
- Remove the pop-up thermometer from the turkey if there is one.
- After removing the giblets and neck, brine the turkey overnight or up to 24 hours under refrigeration. Rinse the turkey well with cold water and pat dry. Place the turkey in a large roasting pan and apply the Cajun Turkey Seasoning liberally to the inside and outside of turkey. Using a kitchen syringe, inject turkey with the marinade (1 ounce per pound). Cover the turkey and refrigerate overnight.
- Remove turkey from the refrigerator an hour before cooking to bring it to room temperature. Cut the skin between the leg and the rib cage. Do not truss or tie the legs together. Be sure the turkey is completely dry to prevent the oil from splattering.
- Clip a deep fry thermometer to the side of the stockpot being sure it’s submerged by at least 1 inch of oil. Begin heating the oil. Don’t set the burner to the highest setting, as you may need to increase the heat after you’ve added the turkey. Depending on the amount of heat from the burner, this could take 20 minutes to an hour for the oil to come up to temperature. Do not leave the fryer unattended!
- When the oil reaches 375 degrees F., place the turkey on the rack, neck down and very slowly lower it into the oil. (Always wear gloves and a long-sleeved shirt when doing this. This is best done with 2 people, each holding one side of the hanger. Do not lean over the pot when lowering the turkey.) The oil will bubble quite a bit until the turkey is completely submerged. Check the temperature of the oil; it will drop about 50 degrees when the turkey is lowered into it.
- Adjust the flame so that the oil returns to 350 degrees F. but do not allow it to go above 375 degrees F. For turkeys weighing 12 pounds and under, fry the turkey for 2 ½ minutes per pound plus 5 minutes. For turkeys weighing over 12 pounds, fry for 3 minutes per pound plus 5 minutes.
- When cooked, carefully remove turkey from the oil. (An instant-read thermometer should register 180 degrees F. in the thickest part of the thigh and 170 degrees F. in the breast.) Place the rack on a small stack of newspapers or paper bags for a few minutes to drain.
- Remove the turkey from the rack and place on a serving platter. Allow the turkey to rest for 20 to 30 minutes before carving. Chef’s note: The oil may be reused and will cook 4 or 5 turkeys before beginning to break down. Either strain the cooled oil and reuse it later or invite your neighbors over to use your cooker!
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