The Best Laid Plans…

I had originally intended to finish out my “series” of posts about the desserts I did for the safari birthday party today, but when I was looking through my photos of the prep and the party, I found only one picture of the Cape Cod cookies that completed the dessert trio for that day.  And…it wasn’t even a good picture.  I have no idea how I made it through the whole process of baking the cookies, packing the cookies up for transport, and then plating the cookies when we arrived without even a short series of kind of decent pictures.  It’s ridiculous.

This picture is what is supposed to do my Cape Cod cookies justice…I think not!  I’m actually pretty proud of these cookies because they are one of the first cookie recipes that I really played with and made my own.  In light of this photographic neglect, I thought that it would be a good idea to whip up a new batch and make sure I take good photos.  That plan, too, was foiled.  I’m out of the key ingredient…cranberries.  I’m also being treated for a stress fracture and I really am supposed to be off my feet.

So…today I bring you something a little different because life doesn’t always go as planned.  In fact, in my life (and I’m sure in yours too) it rarely goes as planned.  I almost always have plans B, C, and D in my head before I begin any task.  Thank goodness for that planning and organization!

Since we’re now through one holiday and heading quickly to another, I thought it might be helpful to throw out one of my holiday poultry recipes.  This year, I purchased an indoor turkey fryer and experimented, for the first time, with deep-frying a turkey.  I’ve had deep-fried turkey prepared by others, and it is always moist, full of flavor, and never greasy.  When I spotted indoor turkey fryers at Wal-Mart, I knew my turkey frying opportunity had finally arrived.  I had never, previously, jumped on the turkey fryer bandwagon because those outdoor propane fryers scare the heck out of me.  I’ve seen the commercials and read the statistics and horror stories…when one of those suckers catches fire, so does everything else around it!  Plus, if you don’t know me personally, you should know that I’m short…very, very short.  So short that middle schoolers tower over me.  Those outdoor turkey fryers are pretty tall for someone my size.  The probability of me putting in or pulling out a turkey safely is low.

To prepare my turkeys this year, we thawed completely and then I injected them with a marinade and allowed them to sit for close to 24 hours before we fried.

Here are most of the ingredients…for some reason, I forgot to put the garlic powder, onion powder, salt (kosher), and pepper in the shot as well.

You need:

1/2 c. oil – canola or vegetable are best

1/2 c. chicken broth or stock

4 T. Worcestershire sauce

2 T. Kosher salt

3 t. garlic powder

3 t. onion powder

3 t. poultry seasoning

2 t. ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and simmer for up to 10 minutes.  Stir to make sure all ingredients are combined and that the mixture is smooth enough to fit through the needle of your injector.  Allow to cool completely.  Once cooled, inject into the breast, thighs, and legs of your turkey.

You should also dry rub your turkey with a combination of seasoning salt (I used Lawry’s) and poultry seasoning or rub. If you’re a fan of the turkey skin, you CANNOT skip this step!!!

My injector came with a handy diagram of injection points, and most that I’ve looked at have something similar.  Read and follow the directions that come with your injector.  They are both helpful and necessary!

Your turkey will look something like this after you inject it and let it sit for awhile.  This one is in the fryer basket and ready to go.

My fryer will let you fry up to a 14 lb. bird, but recommends a bird that’s more in the 10-12 lb. range.  We went with one 13 lb. bird and one that was 11 lb.   I fried in peanut oil — my fryer only uses 2 gal. of oil while the outdoor fryers take up to 5 gallons.  The oil was at 375 degrees and you fry for about 4 minutes per pound.  The turkey needs to be completely thawed and free of ice crystals.  If it isn’t, your oil will bubble up and over — which is the major issue with the outdoor fryers.  The turkey is still a little frozen, lowered into the oil, oil bubbles up and over, oil and flame meet and BAM, disaster ensues.  Not the case with my new little buddy.  No open flame, no worries here!

After about 50 minutes in the oil bath, my turkey came out moist, tender, and perfectly browned.

Allow your turkey to rest for as along as you can…45 minutes to an hour is best…don’t worry it will stay warm!  Carve and enjoy!  If you have several fans of the skin, they’ll be fighting over this.  It is unbelievable!

In the next post, I’ll tackle my sweet and spicy ham recipe.  It’s perfect for Christmas and so good that even people who are on the fence about ham will love it!

Happy eating!!!



One thought on “The Best Laid Plans…

  1. I am always impressed with your willingness to experiment. I can’t imagine myself ever frying a turkey, (I am not comfortable with deep fryers either) but yours looks spectacular!

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