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Thursday, November 23, 2006

"Hey, why aren't you getting ready to fry some turkey??"

A few of my friends have noticed something conspicuously absent among my posts this week: namely, that I'm not writing about frying a turkey for Thanksgiving like I've done for the past few years (click here to see how last year's bird came out). Well, the sad fact of the matter is: I won't be deep-frying a turkey today, for the first Thanksgiving since I started doing it in 2002. I've got to work most of the day at the TV station so frying a bird for the family's usual dinner is out.

Plus, I really haven't had time to properly prepare a turkey. To do it right takes about two days or so of working with the bird: thawing it, doing the "water trick" to determine how much oil to use (VERY important to do this so you don't put too much oil in the pot and risk an overflow), washing the bird thoroughly. And then the biggest (and most fun I think) part of preparation: injecting the turkey full of your choice of marinade. If you want it really juicy throughout you should start injecting at least 36 hours before putting it in the fryer to give the marinade time to saturate the meat. I usually inject more marinade every 4-6 hours in the meantime... and also rub in plenty of Cajun seasoning. You could get away with prepping the bird early on Thanksgiving morning to fry around noon... but to me, this is a work of art that I'd rather not do at all than do a rush-job with it.

So no turkey this time. But I might buy at least a breast tomorrow when they're on sale and start work on it to fry maybe Sunday. But I'm still going to miss frying one on Thanksgiving Day this year. Between the satisfying blast of Cajun-scented steam that rises out of the pot after you put it in, and the fun that comes with picking the right music to have playing while I work, and the sheer rush of adrenaline that comes with performing one of the most dangerous forms of cooking known to man... there's a lot to regret missing this time. But I'm sure that I'll at least make up for it come Christmas :-)