Asian Spiced Fried Turkey by Ming Tsai

My parents were out of town for Thanksgiving, so I invited everyone to my house on Saturday for Fakesgiving.

The recipe I used is an adaptation of Ming Tsai’s fried turkey recipe. The only hard part is cutting the turkey into pieces. Now, I buy whole organic chickens and routinely cut them into pieces or debone them completely, but part of that involves popping out the leg joints in order to cut the leg. Doing that to a turkey that is four times the size- that joint is strong! I recommend wearing long rubber gloves not only for bacteria protection, but also for grip on the fingers and forearms. You’ll need the extra leverage!

I adapt the recipe by what I place in the brine. This time, it was the requisite salt, sugar, at first, but I lower the concentration in half. After two days, I changed the water and added chinese five-spice, reduced salt but no sugar, and a lemon and an orange, halved and squeezed into the brine before adding the fruit. This brining is for one day.

The frying is easy if the oil is kept very hot- under 350 and the pieces are soggy and greasy. To avoid this issue, allow the pieces to come to room temperature before frying, and only add one piece at a time. I work clockwise around the pot: add a piece, remove the one clockwise, and so forth. By adding one piece every five minutes, the oil never has to dip too far in temperature, but the pot is still full.

It is a lot of prep work, but it’s really delicious and not hard to prepare the day of the event.

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