Fried Turkey with Dead Beer Marinade

Dead Beer Marinade:
1 tbl Worcestershire sauce
⅓ cup apple juice
⅓ cup honey
¾ cup beer, not that mainstream crap, a good darker beer (not stout) works best
1 ½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp Creole seasoning

Seasoning Mix:
¼ cup salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp black pepper

Frying a whole turkey has gotten very popular. No wonder. It’s great. But please read the directions and pay attention.

Fried turkey is great, but it may be the most dangerous thing you will ever cook. I am not kidding about fires and emergency room visits. They are real possibilities. You must follow these directions carefully!

First and foremost. This requires a big pot of very hot oil. Fry the turkey outside using a real turkey frying setup on a good stable burner. Don't use coat hangers, wooden spoons, and a big pot you borrowed from grandma. A thermometer, syringe, turkey holder, and fire extinguisher are very important and the rig must be stable.

The turkey holder supports the turkey from underneath. If you don’t support the weight from underneath, the turkey may fall apart when you pull it out of the oil. If it does, the oil will splash, and you will fry yourself along with the turkey. It is very important that you measure the amount of oil you will need. If it doesn’t cover the turkey it won’t cook properly. If you have too much, the pot will overflow making a big mess and a bigger fire. Follow the directions and this is great. Don’t, and you’ll visit you local emergency room or get a visit from the fire department. Maybe both.

Use a 10 to 14 pound turkey. Larger ones tend to burn the legs and wings before the rest of the turkey is done. If it's any smaller you might as well use a chicken.  When the turkey is done it will look almost burnt.  Don't worry, it will taste great.

Start a day early. See how much oil you need. Place the turkey in the pot, cover it with water, pull the turkey out and measure the water. (2½ gallons of oil is perfect for a 12 to 14 Lb. bird in my particular turkey frying setup.) Set the turkey aside to dry. Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a blender and blend for 2 minutes. This will release most of the carbonation from the beer, killing it. (I always called a beer with no fiz dead. I know you were wondering where the name for the dead beer marinade came from) Let the marinade sit for about 10 minutes. Fill a syringe and inject the turkey in the breast, thigh, back, wings, and legs. Next combine the seasoning ingredients and rub the mixture evenly over the inside and outside of the turkey. Put the turkey in a large plastic bag and refrigerate for 24 hours. Pull the turkey out of the refrigerator early the next morning and let it warm to room temperature. The turkey must come to room temp. If its still cold when you put it in the oil, the outside will be overdone before the inside gets cooked.

Fill the turkey fryer with the amount of oil you determined yesterday. Many people insist on peanut oil only. Hogwash!   Peanut oil is more forgiving, but it's also more expensive.  Any good quality frying oil will work.  The big mistake people make is that they heat the oil too fast.  Take it slow, if you really turn the heat up on a good crawfish burner, the oil on the bottom of the pot heats up too quickly and tastes bad. Heat the oil to between 350o and 360o. Put the turkey on the turkey holder legs up. Put a kitchen mitt on and slowly lower the turkey into the oil. (Make sure you wear the mitt and don't stand too close, it will splatter.) The turkey should be completely submerged ,but it will cook just fine if the oil is within an inch or two of covering it long as you put it on the holder legs up. Bring the oil temp back up to 325°. Cook the turkey for 3.5 minutes per pound. While the turkey is cooking, get a large platter and cover it with lots of newspaper. Get a good beer or cocktail. Kick back, drink the beverage of your choice, and adjust the heat to keep the oil temperature at 325°. When the time is up, check the turkey thighs and breasts with a meat thermometer. The temp in the thigh should be 175° to 180° and in the breast it should be 165°.  If the temp is OK, place the turkey on the newspaper. (Keep it on the turkey holder.) Cover the turkey with a paper bag and let it sit undisturbed for about 20 minutes. Carve.