But I have just one more thing to say about Thanksgiving - deep fried turkey. I think we have a new tradition in the Benton household. A fun alternative to a traditional roast turkey that produces a crispy skin and succulent meat in a minuscule amount of time (do I hear 30 minutes for a 10 pound turkey?)
A favorite in the Southern U.S., deep fried turkey has gained in popularity throughout North America in the last few years. It's a great way to add something new to your Thanksgiving feast.
But a few words of caution - be careful. That fat is hot and can overflow so here's a few things we learned this past weekend:
1) Measure the amount of oil you will need by placing the uncooked turkey in the empty fryer and filling it with water to cover the turkey by about 2 inches (but not more than 3 inches from the top). Remove the turkey and mark the waterline on the outside of the pot.
2) Make sure you have enough oil. Alan had to run to the store not once, but twice, to get enough oil. We used a combination of canola and peanut oil. Use whichever oil you are comfortable with, just make sure it has a high smoking temperature (in other words - you can bring it to a high heat before it starts to smoke).
3) COMPLETELY thaw your turkey. Make sure it is dry inside and out and that there is no water or ice particles trapped inside the turkey. This causes boil over and burning and fires. Be careful.
4) Make sure the kids and dogs are out of the way - this baby is hot!
5) Completely follow the directions for your fryer regarding safety and cleaning. Also make sure you have enough propane to finish the job. It takes about 30 minutes for the oil to heat, plus the frying time, so it's a lot of propane. We ran out halfway through the cooking time. Luckily we got another tank going within a few minutes and there was no damage done.
I can understand why the Southerners have been doing this for years - no stuffing to make, no gravy to mix at the last minute and a cooler kitchen without the oven blasting for hours while you roast a traditional bird.
Oh and the added bonus was that we all gathered around after dinner and brought out our English roots by deep frying Mars bars - yes, frozen and battered and deep fried for about 2 minutes each. Where are those stretch pants?