Friday, November 24, 2006

Thank you George Washington Carver.

Ah, Thanksgiving. Is there any better holiday (excluding Halloween)? All the warm fuzzy cheer of Christmas, all the gluttony of every other holiday rolled into one. And to top it all off the thrill of cooking methods that can burn down your house!! Yep, it was time to fry a turkey!

I suppose I could be a bit flip and say don't try this at home, but really, who else's home would they let you. Actually in my case it was the home of my good beer-buddy, 3BTh. We went to grad school together ten years ago and by a strange twist of fate she and her family ended up moving down here about eight months ago.

The local bartenders have yet to stop celebrating this turn of events.

But back to the turkey. It was a beautiful 18-lb bird. The day before I had injected it all over with a mixture of butter, cajun spices and Dr. Pepper. Oh my dat's some good stuff!! We were also bringing a veggie plate and venison sausage to 3BTh's house, she was supplying everything else and had been cooking for days. It was going to be just like the feasts we used to have in grad school except that there'd actually be food at this one.

I got up early Thanksgiving morning to load the Honda. Proper turkey frying takes a lot of gear. I had just finished loading everything up when Misseswether called me upstairs to see Miniwether. More precisely, to see the flaming rash which had engulfed Miniwether's body.
Rash
This was not good. It really looked like chicken pox.

I called 3BTH and explained what was going on and that Misses/Mini-wether wouldn't be coming. I was a bit startled when she said she definately wanted Miniwether over. If it was chickenpox she wanted her young kids to get infected too.

Um, okay. Party was a go!

Enter GWC, godfather of all things peanuty. To do a turkey up right (or waffle-batter-soaked Twinkies!) you need a bunch of peanut oil heated up to about 400F. You slowly lower the bird into the hot oil (turn the flame off first!) then let it soak there for 3 minutes per pound. The oil will cool a bit when you put the bird in so adjust the flame to kept the oil at 350 during cooking. The higher intial temp sears the surface of the bird locking in the juices (aka Dr. Pepper) but you don't want it that hot to cook the whole turkey.

Behold it's pale uncookedness.
Before

One hour later, the perfect bird.
After

It just doesn't get much better than this.

p.s. It turns out the rash wasn't chicken pox. Our baby-doc thinks it's either some minor virus or maybe an allergic reaction.

Adventure! Excitment! Boiling oil!

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