Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Giving you The Bird - Uncle Jay's Fried Turkey

I have had several requests for my Fried Turkey recipe...
This is the recipe I've been using for ten years now-

I got this basic recipe from a guy I worked with back at KBJ Architects years ago- Paul Robinson, from down in St Augustine, gave it to me one afternoon as I frantically scribbled it down on a sheet of stolen graph paper...
I've eaten some other people's recipes and I've toyed with other flavors and procedures (Mojo Bird for instance), but this is the all-time favorite. I usually cook 6 to 10 turkeys on Thanksgiving and/or Christmas for friends, neighbors and co-workers... We have been doing a Thanksgiving dinner at work for several years, and this recipe is always well-recieved.

For the last two years I have been in recovery from my return from China and the Tennis Masters Cup during Thanksgiving week, basically too tired to go through all the BS to cook a bunch of birds for dinner.
I got a couple e-mails while I was in Shanghai asking if I was cooking this year and when I said I wasn't, a couple people asked for the recipe...

Well... I've given this recipe to folks before, and there has been Some Trouble...
People take the recipe and make substitutions, and/or change the procedures, then get substandard results... and then complain to me about it.

Well... I'm publishing this recipe here- If you want to use it you'll have to make the pledge...
(Note: If you don't make the pledge and use this recipe and make even one tiny little change, quick Karma will do you in...Be advised.)

Hokay! Here we goes...

Uncle Jay's Fried Turkey Recipe. (v

Repeat after me...

I promise to faithfully follow all instructions given to me in preparing Uncle Jay's Fried Turkey.
I will use only bona-fide and sanctioned ingredients and I will protect myself and my family by following all saftey procedures.
I will protect the sanctity of The Recipe by reproducing it faithfully, keeping all ingredients and procedures intact, and I will give proper credit upon dispersal to friends and family.
This recipe is intellectual property of Uncle Jay Enterprises, LTD.

Pax Vobiscum.

Stuff you're gonna need:

Turkey Fryer Stuff (Big-ass pot, bird stand, lift hook, propane burner & full tank.)
One 2-gallon ziplock bag.
Fresh Turkey. 9-13 lbs, depending on your pot.
Anything over 13 lbs is probably too big for average pot.
(And I mean fresh. Not frozen thawed ... Fresh. Publix has the best ones.)
One bottle Red Stripe Beer. (Or 1 sixpack: 1 bottle for recipe, 5 bottles for the cook.)
5 gallons of peanut oil.
(NOT canola, vegetable, safflower, coconut, motor, oilve, grapeseed or any other type of oil.)
One shaker can of Tony Cacheries Cajun Seasoning.
(NOT the "low salt" version. Get the green can.)
Kosher Salt.
One injecting syringe & needle. (#20 horse needle is nice)
12 inches of twine
Long-stem thermometer
Welders gloves or oven mitts.
Large cardboard box (refrigerator size is good)
One turkey-sized disposable aluminum pan.
24 or 32oz plastic cup (Like from the soda fountain at the gas station.)


Work Preparation:

1. Make sure your propane tank is full.
2. ALL cooking will take place outside.
3. Every time you touch the raw turkey, you will wash your &*#$@ hands BEFORE you touch ANYTHING else.
4. Make sure you have a large surface to work on to prepare the bird.
5. Sanitation hint: Once you start working on the bird, have an assistant pour the seasoning /salt /etc from the container into your hands as you need it. If you touch the can, you WILL cross-contaminate, and you WILL spend several hours in the bathroom counting tiles.
Also, put down several layers on newspaper on your prep will save time on cleanup.


Cook Prep:

(Part one is done the night before, all prep must be finished before 11:00PM.
(I'm not kidding.)

BEFORE YOU UNWRAP THE BIRD, you must figure out how much oil to use.
Put wrapped bird in empty pot and run water into pot.
Fill until bird is covered by 2 inches of water.
Remove the bird at this point.
Make a fill-to mark side of pot (inside) with a Sharpie.
Dump water and move onto prep.

Prepare Bird

1. Pour beer into 24 or 32 oz. plastic cup
(Using this cup will make it easier to mix the seasoning and get it into the syringe.)
2. Agitate beer (take some of the fizz out of it.)
3. Let foam subside
4. Put 3 tablespoons of Tony Cacheries seasoning in the beer.
5. Mix THOUROUGHLY. (Lots of salt in there that needs to dissolve.)
6. Let mixture stand
7. Unwrap bird, remove "goodies" from inside body cavity and neck cavity.
8. Rinse bird well, especially inside. Fill with water several times, until water runs clear.
9. Make sure there are no ice crystals inside.
10. working from the cavity end of the bird, run your hands up under the skin of the turkey, separating the skin from the meat. Do both sides, and try to get down toward the thighs and wings.
(IMPORTANT - Try NOT to tear the skin as you do this. The skin protects the meat as it cooks...If it is excessively torn, the unprotected meat will cook incorrectly and leave dry sections of meat.)
11. Take small handfuls of Tony Cacheries seasoning and insert it under the skin of the turkey, rubbing it on the meat up as far as you can under the skin with your hands...(again, careful not to tear skin).
12. Sprinkle a good amount of seasoning into body cavity.
13. Sprinkle a good amount of kosher salt into body cavity.
14. Give your beer mixture a good stir.
15. Fill your injecting syringe with the mixture.
16. Inject syringefuls of mix into the breastmeat, moving the needle around to different points to evenly distribute mixture. Also inject thighs and drums. Use all the mixture.
17. When finished, pull the ends of the legs together, cross the ends of the bones and tie them together with twine. Fold and tuck wingtips under the body.
18. Sprinkle the outside of the bird liberally with kosher salt.
19. Put bird in 2 gallon ziplock bag. (You will need help with this.)
20. Both you and your assistant GO WASH YOUR F%&#@$ING HANDS.
21. Put the bagged bird in the fridge.
22. Roll up the newspaper from your work surface and throw it away.
23. Clean EVERYTHING with disinfectant.
24. A nice cold Red Stripe would be good right about now.


Cooking Time!


1. Set up your burner on a large flat hard surface.
The driveway is good. On the lawn is bad.
Put down cardboard under the burner assembly, unless your want a nice oilstain if there is an accidental spill. Keep away from the house, car, pets, or anything else flammable.
2. Have your FIRE EXTINGUISHER on hand.
3. Bring out your bird and place on work surface.
4. Put pot on ground.
5. Fill your pot to the fill-to mark with peanut oil.
6. Light burner.
7. Adjust flame- you want a medium-high flame.
8. Put filled pot on lit burner.
(At this point you must NEVER leave the cooking area unattended.)
9. Put thermometer in oil, making sure the tip doesn't touch the bottom or sides.
10. Heat oil to 350.
(This will take a little while, but not that long. Watch the thermometer.)
11. Unwrap bird and impale NECK SIDE DOWN on bird stand.
12. GO WASH YOUR F%&#@$ING HANDS while your assistant watches the oil.
13. When oil is at 350, put on your welders gloves/pot holders.
14. When oil is at 365-370, remove thermometer and pick up the bird with the hook and carefully lower it into the oil. Remove the hook.
It will bubble up quite a bit, and there will be a lot of steam, so watch your hands/wrists.
Also, watch for overspill; if oil is too near the top of the pot, oil may overflow.
Be very careful.

Monitor the oil temp. Keep between 350 and 370.

A beer might be good right about now...but only one.

Cooking Times:

Weight - Cook time
9 lbs - 36 mins
10 lbs - 36 mins
11 lbs - 38 mins
12 lbs - 38 Mins
13 lbs - 39 Mins

15. At end of cooking time, hook the eye of the bird stand and raise the bird from the oil.
16. Place bird stand on work surface and let stand for 5 minutes before doing anything else with the bird.
17. While bird cools, kill the fire on the burner.

It will take more than an hour to cool the oil to a point where it can be easily and safely moved.
IF YOU ARE VERY CAREFUL you can move the pot from the stand and put it somewhere safe to cool. Use your welders gloves/oven mitts. Make sure it is safe from kids, animals and accidental contact.

18. After 5 mins, tip bird of stand and into disposable pan and take it inside the house.
19. The bird will be easier to work with if you give it 20 or so minutes to cool.
It will still be very hot inside.
Carve it up 15 or so minutes before ready to serve.


After dinner, go deal with the oil.
Pour it back in the bottle (strain it) and save it for cooking a turkey at Christmas.
Used oil is good (stored in cool dark place) for 6 to 8 months.

Famous, out-


Anonymous said...

Dang!! gotta hate it when those fresh turkey's have ice crystals inside. Does that only happen if they don't fly south soon enough?

Chris kuebler said...

Trying this out this year. (I didn't have the prep done by 11PM, so I'm fearing the worst!)