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DEEP FRIED TURKEY RECIPE BY TALLYRAND

Deep Fried Korukoru - is it for real?

I have been asked by an astounding number of people about deep frying a whole turkey. It would seem it has featured lately on a few TV shows / sit-coms and the question posed by most is: "Is this for real"? To which I say to everyone . . . YES it is, believe it or not!

This dish is a concept that started in the southern states of the USA - a Cajun dish I think, that is now becoming popular not only across the USA but also worldwide. This rise in popularity is no doubt due to it being featured on the various TV sit-coms and other programmes, and is a perfect twist for or instead of barbecues. Of course a bit late for trying it on your Christmas turkey but better late than never.

The same method can be used for other poultry such as chicken, duck, goose, etc. In fact this is far from being a new idea, as the Chinese have cooked birds in this fashion for centuries.

Mum watching the KorukoruHere in New Zealand, the indigenous Maori name for turkey is korukoru, so named after the noise the Maori reckon they make. While away for Christmas, I was staying at a family farm and here in New Zealand turkeys run wild, there are literally fields and fields of them all over the place. This so impressed my mother, over from the UK for Christmas. The photo here is one I took of her on Xmas morning 2003, my ironic sense of humour coming into play here . . . but what better day to take a photo of them? These wild turkeys are far different from the domesticated type and need to be treated like any wild game bird, hung, marinated and best cooked in a stew as the flesh is quite tough.

Safety First
I cannot stress enough here about the safety factors involved in this dish, so please follow the safety tips carefully, stay safe and enjoy this dish with a difference.

I have included a list of all the required equipment, notes about the oil required along with the cooking method and the recipes for various dry rubs for you to add an extra twist each time you cook your bird.

Location and Safety

  • Place the gas burner on a level dirt or a grassy area, ensuring that it is level and stable
  • Never fry a turkey indoors, in a garage or in any other structure attached to a building
  • Avoid frying on wood decks, which could catch fire, and concrete, which can be stained by the oil

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Equipment required

  • Extra large saucepan / stockpot / pasta pot
  • Portable gas burner
  • Large food basket
  • Food thermometer for the oil temperature
  • Oven cloths / mitts
  • Fire extinguisher
  • 2 - 4 house bricks or similar
  • Large tray with sand

Oil

  • Choose an oil / fat that has a high smoking point. It will need to be stable at 180 C - peanut, canola, safflower will suit, as will professional type deep frying fats
  • To exactly measure the amount of oil required:
  • place the turkey into the pot
  • add water until it covers the turkey by approx. 5cm - the level of the water should be at least 15 cm from the top of the pot to allow for it to bubble when cooking remove turkey
  • measure the water used
  • Safety note: Be sure to thoroughly drain and dry off the turkey, inside and out. Any water remaining will cause a safety hazard later when immersing it into the hot fat
  • After use strain and store the oil, covered in a refrigerator to maximise its shelf life. If left out, uncovered or in the light the oil will oxidise and become rancid quickly

Choosing a turkey

Choose a small bird approximately 3 - 4 kg. Anything larger will not fully cook and may also cause safety issues such as lowering and lifting from the hot oil. The extra cooking time required will result in burning of the skin, over cooking of the outer flesh and under cooking of the inner flesh.

DEEP FRIED TURKEY

Turkey preparation

  • The turkey may be left un-seasoned or a dry rub used for extra flavour; see later for rub recipes

  • These are best rubbed into the bird a day or two ahead to allow the flavours to penetrate and develop

  • Rub the seasoning into the cavity and under the skin for maximum effect and to minimise the contamination of the oil

  • I am not in favour of injecting the turkey with liquid marinades, as this only adds moisture content and can cause excess bubbling of the oil as it cooks and can be a major fire hazard if not completed properly

  • Do not stuff the turkey!

Cooking

  • It cannot be stressed enough that the turkey must be thoroughly dry before commencing any further. Even if you dried it before, check and pat dry inside and out once again

  • Place the oil into the pot and place over a medium heat - depending on the amount of oil used, this will take up to 1 hour

  • Once the oil has come to temperature, place the turkey in the basket and slowly lower into the fat

  • Cook for approximately 10 - 15 minutes per kg

  • After two-thirds of the estimated cooking time, carefully remove the turkey and check it, this can be done by the use of a meat thermometer (the temperature at the core of the thickest part of the breast must reach 70°C)

  • Alternatively cut the skin between the leg and the breast and carefully pull apart slightly, look for any signs of pinkness or rawness at the thigh joint. If present repeat with the other leg and slowly place back into the oil to complete the cooking; by separating the skin in this way the heat now penetrate to the thigh joint and cook it without over cooking the breast

  • When cooked, turn off the heat source before removing the basket, carefully remove the basket and allow the excess fat to drain away . . . a couple of bricks placed on the ground is ideal for resting the basket on to allow it to drain. A shallow tray of sand is ideal for catching the dripping oil, it makes for easy removal and keeps your area clean

Additional Safety Tips

  • Never leave the oil heating when unattended

  • Never leave the turkey cooking when unattended

  • Don't allow children or pets anywhere near the cooking area

  • When cooked, turn off the heat source before removing the basket - this ensures any dripping oil will not catch fire and set alight the whole pot of oil

  • Allow the oil to cool completely before moving the pot, disposing, straining or storing of the oil

  • Immediately wash hands, utensils, equipment and surfaces that have come in contact with raw turkey

  • Turkey should be consumed immediately and leftovers stored in the refrigerator within two hours of cooking and used within two days

CAJUN SPICE RUB

Ingredients

sea salt flakes
1/2
cup
onion powder
3
tbs
garlic powder
3
tbs
black pepper
2
tbs
white pepper
2
tbs
sweet basil
2
tbs
smoked paprika
1 1/2
tbs
cayenne pepper
1
tbs
bay leaves - ground
2
tsp
file powder
2
tsp

Method

  • Combine all ingredients thoroughly

Chef's Tip:

Adjust the cayenne to suit your own taste

File powder is dried, ground sassafras leaves, also known as filé or gumbo filé, (pronounced fee-lay). It is used frequently in Creole and Cajun cooking.

First known use was by the Choctaw Indians of Louisiana.

It is used as a seasoning and primarily thickening agent in gumbo and has a wonderfully pungent and aromatic flavour. When added to gumbo never add it while it is cooking, add at the end when the gumbo is off the fire (it is best when you sprinkle it on, cover the pot and let it sit for 15 minutes). If brought back to a boil it will turn stringy.

GINGER AND GARLIC RUB WITH ROSEMARY

Ingredients

fresh ginger - chopped
1/4
cup
fresh rosemary - chopped
2
tbs
fresh garlic cloves - crushed
6
tbs
sea salt flakes
2
tbs
freshly ground black pepper
2
tsp

Method

  • Combine all ingredients thoroughly

TANDOORI RUB

Ingredients

medium onion - minced
1
pc
garlic clove - minced
1
pc
ginger cube - minced
2
cm
fresh green chilli - chopped
1
pc
lemon juice
1/2
cup
sea salt flakes
1
tsp
garam masala
2
tsp
yellow food colour
1
tbs
red food colour
1
tbs

Method

  • Combine all ingredients thoroughly

  • Rub into turkey while using disposable latex gloves

MOROCCAN RUB

Ingredients

cumin seeds
4
tsp
coriander seeds
2
tsp
ginger - crushed
3
tsp
garlic - crushed
1
tsp
fresh coriander leaves - finely chopped
1
cup
fresh chilli - finely chopped
1
pc
turmeric
1
tsp
sea salt flakes
2
tsp
lemon juice
2
tbs

Method

  • Crush the cumin and coriander seeds with a pestle and mortar or with a heavy saucepan

  • Combine with the remaining ingredients

Enjoy and bon appetit . . . . .

Chef's terminology:

  lt
=
litres   tsp = teaspoon
  ml
=
millelitres   tbs = tablespoon
  kg
=
kilograms   sq = sufficient quantity (add to taste)
  gm
=
grams   pc = piece, meaning a whole one of

Tallyrand
Recipe from professional
Chef Tallyrand

Email Hub-UK : info@hub-uk.com