Prep: 30 minutes plus standing • Deep-Fry: 40 minutes • Serves: 12
1 (12- to 14-pound) fresh or frozen turkey, thawed completely
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1. Read manufacturer’s manual carefully. Prepare turkey fryer as manufacturer directs, making sure you use a deep-fat thermometer to monitor the temperature. Add oil to pot and cover; heat oil to 375° over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, remove giblets, neck and liver from thawed turkey; reserve giblets and neck for another use if desired and discard liver. Remove and discard ring holding turkey legs together and pop-up timer. Rinse turkey with cold running water; pat inside and outside completely dry with paper towels.
2. In small bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Sprinkle basil mixture inside turkey cavity and outside of turkey, patting lightly so it adheres. Slide turkey hook into the turkey, breast cavity first, with the hook coming out the opposite end of the turkey (or place the turkey in the turkey basket with legs pointing up). Turn off burner as manufacturer directs to eliminate flame. Securely attach the lifting hook to the turkey hook (or basket). Put on oven mitts, and very carefully lower turkey into hot oil. Remove lifting hook; turn on flame.
3. Fry turkey, uncovered, 40 to 50 minutes (about 3-1/2 minutes per pound) or until internal temperature reaches 160° in thickest part of thigh, making sure thermometer doesn’t touch bone, and adjusting fryer temperature as necessary to maintain oil temperature between 325 and 350°.
4. To remove turkey from oil, turn off flame. Carefully reattach lifting hook. Lift turkey from oil, holding turkey over pot of oil briefly to allow any excess oil to drip into fryer. Place turkey on its hook onto large rimmed baking pan to check internal temperature; let stand 10 minutes. Transfer turkey to cutting board; cover loosely with foil and let stand 10 minutes longer. (Internal temperature will rise 5 to 10° upon standing.) Remove turkey hook before carving.
Approximate nutritional values per serving: 645 Calories, 52g Fat (10g Saturated), 155mg Cholesterol, 453mg Sodium, 1g Carbohydrates, 1g Fiber, 42g Protein
It’s very important to use a turkey that has not been injected with a marinade, and that the turkey is completely thawed before frying. Additional moisture in the turkey could cause the oil to boil over, resulting in a fire or explosion.
Locate a safe, outdoor area away from your home to set up the turkey fryer on a hard, flat surface. The fryer can be placed on a large piece of cardboard to catch any spills; make sure the fryer remains level. The fryer should be attended at all times, especially since most fryers have an automatic shut-off valve that requires the fryer to be relit every 15 minutes.
If oil temperature drops below 325° while frying the turkey, adjust the heat or place the lid on the pot briefly to bring the oil back to temperature.
To keep the oil, allow it to cool overnight. Strain the oil, return it to the original bottles and refrigerate up to 2 months.