While a roasted bird is always delicious, a deep-fried bird is a gourmet-level experience. The skin caramelizes to a crispy golden brown, and the meat inside remains juicy and succulent. Frying is fast — only a few minutes per pound — and thus leaves no chance for the meat to dry out.
Deep-fried turkey: A history
Deep-fried turkey may seem like a generations-old Southern recipe, but it is actually a relatively new culinary creation.
The 1970s saw the advent of portable butane burner cookers, which most people used to boil seafood such as crawfish. Soon, people began using those cookers as fryers for chickens and other meats. By the early 1980s, newspapers began running ads about the newfangled trend of Thanksgiving turkey frying.
Many of these frying pioneers hailed from Louisiana and seasoned their birds with a Cajun flair. In honor of these fry-oneers, here we bring you a recipe for a Cajun-style deep-fried turkey. With a spice rub and marinade that blends zesty onions, garlic, red pepper, and smoky paprika, this bird leaves no doubt: It ain’t Great Grandma’s old-fashioned turkey!