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Cajun Deep-Fried Turkey


Give your deep-fried Thanksgiving turkey a fun Cajun twist with a variety of seasonings that will make you think you're in the bayou.

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  • 1 (12-pound) whole turkey, neck and giblets removed
  • 4 to 5 gallon peanut oil
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons onion powder
  • 3 tablespoons black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sweet basil
  • 2 teaspoons bay leaves ground
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons file powder
  • 3 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 cups butter
  • 1/4 cup onion juice
  • 1/4 cup garlic juice
  • 1/4 cup Louisiana-style hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 (7-ounce) beer


Servings 6
Preparation time 20mins
Cooking time 80mins


Step 1

Stir salt, herbs and peppers together. Mix until well blended. Use 1/2 to 2/3 cup for a 10 to 12 pound turkey. May be stored for several months in an airtight covered jar.

Remove the giblets and neck, rinse the turkey well with cold water and pat dry thoroughly with paper towels. Take care to dry both inside cavities. Place in a large pan and rub the interior and exterior of the bird with rub seasoning.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion juice, garlic juice, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, cayenne pepper and beer. Mix until well blended.

Use a marinade injecting syringe or turkey baster with an injector tip to inject the marinade all over the turkey including the legs, back, wings, thighs and breasts. Place in a large plastic bag and marinate overnight in the refrigerator. Do not use a kitchen trash bag. If your turkey is large, you can use an oven bag.

To allow for good oil circulation through the cavity, do not truss or tie legs together. Cut off the wing tips and plump little tail as they may get caught in the fryer basket.

Heat the oil to 365°F (185°C). When the oil has come to temperature, lower the turkey into the hot oil slowly using the hanging device that comes with turkey deep-fryers. The turkey should be completely submerged in the oil.

Immediately check the oil temperature and increase the flame so the oil temperature is maintained at 350°F. If the temperature drops to 340°F. or below, oil will begin to seep into the turkey.

Fry about 3 to 4 minutes per pound, or about 35 to 42 minutes for a 10 to 12 pound turkey. Stay with the cooker at all times as the heat must be regulated.

When cooked to 170°F. in the breast or 180°F. in the thigh, carefully remove the turkey from the hot oil. Allow the turkey to drain for a few minutes. (Safety tip: allow the oil to cool completely before storing or disposing.)

Remove turkey from the rack and place on a serving platter. Allow to rest for 20 minutes before carving.

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