Honey & Sage Brined Deep Fried Turkey
Devotees of this Thanksgiving tradition swear that once you try Honey & Sage Brined Deep Fried Turkey, you'll never cook your holiday birds any other way! Deep-frying makes the turkey crispy on the outside and super juicy on the inside.
- 1 (12 to 16-pound) turkey
- 6 quarts water
- 1 1/2 cups kosher salt
- 1 cup honey
- 1 handful fresh sage leaves
- 6 fresh garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
- 2 tablespoons cracked black pepper
- 2 ounces your favorite spice rub
- 4 to 5 gallons Peanut Oil, for frying
- Turkey fryer and burner
Preparation time 45mins
Cooking time 105mins
An overnight soak in a brine, or salted water solution, gives your turkey a chance to absorb both moisture and seasoning. I recommend that you brine your bird no matter what method of cooking you plan to use, be it deep-frying, roasting or grilling. To brine your turkey, find a container large enough to submerge the turkey in the brine, such as a large stock pot or bucket and line it with a large heavy plastic bag (an unused 30-gallon trash bag works great!).
For a basic brine use 1 cup Kosher salt to 1 gallon of cold water. Season the brine for added flavor with sugar, peppercorns, bay leaves, fresh herbs etc.
TO MAKE TURKEY:
Make a Brine using the water, salt, honey, sage, garlic and cracked black pepper, as listed above. Allow the turkey to rest in the brine, in the refrigerator overnight or up to 24 hours before frying.
Remove the turkey from the brine and pat it dry. (Water and oil do not mix, so be sure to dry the inside and outside of the turkey very well.) Rub the outside and the inside cavity of the bird with your Spice Rub of choice. Make sure the hole at the neck is open at least 2 inches so the oil can flow freely through the bird.
Heat the oil to 400°F. Place a roasting rack on a baking sheet and set it next to the fryer to drain the turkey when it is done cooking. Attach the turkey to the turkey lifter according to the manufacturer's instructions. Slowly and carefully lower the turkey into the hot oil. Immediately check the oil temperature and adjust the flame so that the temperature does not dip below 340°F.
Maintain the temperature of the oil at 350°F, and cook the turkey for approximately 3 1/2 minutes per pound. The turkey is done when it floats to the surface and has a dark golden brown skin. Carefully remove the turkey from the oil and hold it over the pot to allow any excess oil to drain back into the pot, then lay the bird on the prepared baking sheet.
To insure doneness, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. The internal temperature should be 180°F. Allow the turkey to rest for 20 minutes before carving.
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