Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Not Quite Traditional Turkey {5 Days of Preparing for the Holidays}


Cooking... Truth is, I don't like to cook all that much, but since everyone in my family tends to enjoy eating, it's inevitable that I have to do some.  When we moved into the house we're in now, I realized that the oven was a little smaller than the one I'd had before.  Not only that, but there was only ONE oven.  At our previous house, we'd had two, which was fantastic for things like turkey dinner.  You could roast the turkey in the large lower oven, and do vegetables or rolls or whatever in the smaller oven.  Hmmm.... it wasn't long before my hubby hit upon a solution, even though he wasn't directly trying to solve my dilemma!  We bought a turkey fryer all those years ago and decided to try deep frying our Thanksgiving turkeys.

Yes, more than one turkey.  Not because we need more than one to feed our family, but because we celebrate Thanksgiving at least three times each year!  My hubby and I are Canadian, and in Canada Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October.  So, we celebrate a Canadian style Thanksgiving sometime in October; then we celebrate American style Thanksgiving in November along with everyone else; and for the past several years we've also celebrated with a group of DH's friends and their families on the Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving.  Three Thanksgiving dinners at minimum! Often it's more than that.

Back to the turkey fryer...  it seems like this is becoming more common, but if you've never tried it, you are missing out!  Deep fried turkeys are flavorful and juicy, and are cooked in a much shorter time than roasted turkeys. Shorter cooking time has often meant we could sleep later on Thanksgiving Day! LOL And DH is in charge of cooking! That's great news for me.  I prepare the turkey and then I can turn my attention to bread, potatoes, vegetables, and dessert; and my oven can be used for those things instead of being occupied by the turkey all day.  If you want stuffing and gravy, you do need to make those separately.  And you will probably not want to boil the bones for soup stock - we have tried it, but didn't care for the flavor.  So I guess those are possible downsides, depending on how important those things are to you. Standing watch over the fryer outside for around an hour isn't the best of times when it is bitterly cold, and isn't advisable if it is raining or snowing.

To prepare the turkey, we inject it with marinade and coat it with an herb rub.

Then it goes in the hot oil - taking appropriate safety precautions! - and fries for about 3 minutes per pound.  Whenever we've had someone over for turkey dinner that hasn't experienced deep-fried turkey before, we take pictures of the whole ceremonial procession with the turkey being carried outside to the fryer.  LOL

Into the birdie boiler!!
When it is cooked, it needs to cool enough to be handled before being carved up for the serving platter.  I never get marks for 'presentation' and I don't worry about it - we just get the meat off the bones in serving size pieces and get it on the table so we can eat!

This year our Canadian style Thanksgiving was celebrated on a Saturday in October, a couple weeks after the actual holiday, just because that's when we could get our calendars together.  We celebrated with friends who have a Canadian connection too - the wife is from Canada - and with my parents.

We look forward to celebrating American style Thanksgiving with friends as well.  We have the honor of being invited to join another family from church again this year on Thanksgiving Day.  For many years we celebrated by ourselves, because we don't have any family in the area, but last year a lovely couple from church asked if we would like to join their extended family - what a privilege!  And once again, on the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving, we will get together with DH's hockey buddies for our tailgate style Thanksgiving dinner.  The guys get ice time on Wednesday evening, and play a game of pick-up.  When they're finished they join the wives and kids outside in the rink's parking lot where we have a huge potluck dinner.  It's called "Gobble in the Lot" and yes, it includes deep fried turkeys!

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Lora @ my blessed life said...

I have never tried deep-frying a turkey, but I hear they're delicious. We usually have at least two Thanksgiving meals here: one with our church and one (sometimes two) with family.

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