Sunday, November 27, 2011

Deep Fried Thanksgiving

I am not sure if I am brave or crazy, but the day before Thanksgiving my niece and I got on the train and headed to downtown Chicago. This might not seem like a big deal, but Danielle is only 14 and this was going to be her first time going downtown without an adult. Yes, technically I qualify as an adult, but not when it comes to navigating a new city. Her mom equipped her with an iPhone and we agreed her job was to navigate and mine was to protect the iPhone,which was our lifeline.

We had a great time! It was a beautiful late fall day with blue sky and trees that were still managing to hang onto their golden leaves.

We went to Millennium Park and viewed The Bean from every possible angle.

Then we went to the Federal Reserve. We especially loved the million dollar displays.

Thanksgiving had a new twist on the usual fare this year. Cheri decided she wanted to try deep frying the turkey. Apparently this has become quite popular in the US. I don't know if this turkey cooking method has crept up across the border to Canada. I was intrigued, and at one point thought it might be something fun to try for Christmas this year. That idea was quickly discarded when I saw the boiling vat of oil. I have several children who are firebugs, and I fear my new son-in-law might also lean in that direction.

It is too bad about the firebug thing because this was one amazing turkey! It wasn't greasy at all. The skin quickly crisps up, sealing in all the juices of the turkey. And from a cook's perspective it has more to recommend it than just the flavour. It means the oven is available to cook side dishes. The downside, apart from the threat of fire and/or third degree burns, is it took $75 worth of peanut oil to cook that bird.

It was a great trip, and I was totally spoiled by my sister-in-law who wouldn't let me lift a finger in the kitchen while I was there. Unfortunately, as I look around at the condition of my own kitchen tonight I see Those Who Were Left Behind seem not to have lifted a collective finger either. In fact, I am quite sure that is the same dish cloth at the sink that was there the day I left. Sigh...


  1. Yummy.
    If you do ever end up deep frying a turkey, I hope I will receive an invite to that dinner!

  2. I'm going with brave! It looks like you had a great American TG meal with your family--I'm glad they didn't serve pumpkin pie.

    I'm too worried about the potential dangers to try frying a turkey in the backyard--partially because we removed our back fence for a better view of the field behind our house. We tried a fried turkey a few years ago. We placed an order at a local chicken place, but they over-cooked it. Maybe we should try again (at a different restaurant).

  3. I've also heard that the deep fried turkeys are DELICIOUS, but also a fire hazard if cooked to close to the house. Looks like yours was far enough away. :)
    Glad you had a good American Thanksgiving holiday!

  4. Hi Kristie,
    I've eaten some delicious deep fried turkey too, but have been too daunted by the process to try it myself. There is a new youtube starring William Shatner warning about the dangers of outdoor deep frying:
    Glad you had a nice holiday,
    Erin in PA

  5. @Haelle - I promise that if we ever deep fry a turkey I will invite you to dinner. I also promise I will NEVER deep fry a turkey. Two promises I am guaranteed to keep. :-)

    @Ric - If you have a place you can order this from I say give it another try. They only cook for about 3 minutes per pound, so it would be very easy to overcook them.

    @Aneta - My thought as I watched this whole process was there must be emergency rooms across the country filled with burn victims on American Thanksgiving. And I was told there have been some horror stories involving house fires.

    @Erin in PA - Thanks for the yotube link. I will have to watch it! I hope you had a good holiday too!

  6. Everyone says they (deep fried turkeys) are wonderful, but it doesn't seem worth the mess and hazard to me. I got one of those electric turkey ovens this year, really cheap, and it was great to have the oven free. The turkey came out very tender and moist too. I don't know why it took me so long to get one.

    Great photos of Chicago! Sounds like a fun trip!

  7. Me and fry oil don't mix. I burn myself browning stew meat (a drop of hot oil hit and burnt my nose last year), for crying out loud. Cooking fritters resulted in a burnt finger two weeks ago. I shudder at the thought of a full pot of cooking oil anywhere near me.

  8. @Tana - I think your electric turkey oven was a good choice. Much less mess, and a whole lot safer!

    @kate - I am the same way. It is why I skip the step where you brown stew meat. Jamie Oliver says it isn't really necessary and that is good enough for me!

  9. It looks like you had a beautiful Thanksgiving! I've always been intriqued by the idea of deep frying a turkey...would love to taste it one day. But more than anything, the idea of $70 of peanut oil turns me off.

    This post made me think of a Thanksgiving episode of Gilmore Girls where 'the boys' decided to deep fry many more things than the turkey. funny!