Jimmy Bradley's Deep-Fried Turkey Recipe

Jimmy Bradley's Deep-Fried Turkey Recipe
Staff Writer
Paprika
Istock/berenika

Paprika

Jimmy Bradley, the chef-owner of The Red Cat and The Harrison in New York City, likes frying his Thanksgiving turkey because it comes out extra juicy, in about half the time. The only downside is that you don’t have pan drippings to make the gravy. He uses homemade chicken stock in advance, and then reduces it for an extra-meaty flavor.

Ingredients

For the brine:

  • 2 gallons water  
  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 lemon halves
  • 1 white onion, sliced
  • 6 whole, peeled garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns

For the turkey:

  • One 15-pound fresh turkey
  • ½ cup paprika
  • 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne
  • 2 ½ teaspoons curry powder
  • 4 tablespoons salt
  • 2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • 1 cup canola oil

For frying:

  • 3-4 gallons peanut oil
  • One 8-gallon turkey fryer, preferably a propane-powered fryer

Directions

For the brine:

Mix all the ingredients together in a large stockpot and add the turkey.  Refrigerate for 2-3 hours. Remove turkey from pot and pat dry. 

For the turkey:

Mix all dry ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl. Add canola oil to spice mixture — this will create a paste that you should then use to coat the turkey. Run the mixture over the entire turkey, place in a large, resealable plastic bag, and let sit overnight in the fridge.

Remove the bird from the fridge approximately one hour before frying so that it is at room temperature. When ready to fry, make sure you shake the bird to remove any excess liquid. 

For frying:

Fill a five gallon steel fryer with peanut oil to the line drawn. Heat oil to 350 degrees.

Carefully place the turkey in the fryer using the equipment/method included with the fryer. The turkey will cool down the oil considerably, so increase the heat to ensure the oil gets up to 320 degrees.

General rule of thumb when frying turkeys is 3 minutes per pound, so a 15 pound turkey should require approximately 45 minutes of frying time. When you remove the turkey, it should be a nice, rich, reddish brown.

Let the bird rest on a cooling rack over a baking pan to allow excess oil to drip off for about 15-20 minutes. Then carve and serve.

Deep-Fried Turkey Shopping Tip

Buy cooking oils with high smoke points like peanut, canola, and safflower which don’t break down at the high temperatures needed for deep-frying.

Deep-Fried Turkey Cooking Tip

Don’t overcrowd the pan – if too much food is added at once, the oil temperature will drop and the food will steam instead of brown.