Bite Club: How to Make a Deep-Fried Bacon-Wrapped Turkey
Go crazy this Thanksgiving.
Turkeys are assholes. They’re violently stupid (there’s nothing that substantiates this, but I still like to imagine they’re the idiots of the animal kingdom), they look like nature threw colors and unfinished ideas for bird parts at a wall and hit print, and — in the most asshole turkey move of all — they don’t taste good. If you’re going to be a total dick of a creature, at least be covered in a delicious fat cap. It worked for ducks; people fucking love ducks.
But thanks to the holiday turkey industrial complex, you have to make it once a year. Ever suggest eating something other than turkey for Thanksgiving? Your great aunt Betty loses her shit and starts talking about World War II austerity measures and how no one could afford a whole bird back then and how she can’t figure out how to access her email even though you showed her how like eight times and bookmarked her inbox. Just click the link Betty! You just click the fucking link!
Anyways, if you absolutely have to make turkey — and you do — you might as well get a little bit weird with it. Consider deep-frying and bacon-wrapping the turkey as an act of rebellion. But, like, one that you can eat and stuff.
Here’s what you need:
– A small turkey
– A bottle of turkey seasoning
– 2 pounds of bacon
– 5 gallons of peanut oil
– A turkey fryer
– Cooking twine
Get the smallest turkey that you can find, which is generally somewhere around 13 pounds. I only suggest that because five people die on average from deep frying turkeys, and you want to make this as easy as possible. Nothing puts a damper on the holiday spirit like an untimely death. Make sure the turkey is completely thawed, which should be done in the fridge about two days out from cooking, and then rub it down with a whole bottle of Cajun or blackened seasoning. You really can’t overseason turkey. Then, take some cooking twine and tie the backs of the legs together.
I know your instinct might be to jury-rig up some sort of deep-frying contraction (mine sure was) but don’t do that. Because, y’know, death is bad. I found a turkey fryer for $60, and I expect to make that money back in the form of not-shitty turkey for years to come. Fill the deep-fryer up to the fill line with peanut oil — about 5 gallons worth, but undershoot rather than overshoot, because death — then light the burner. The oil should take about an hour to heat up to 375 degrees.
When the oil is nice and hot and you’re still not dead, take the turkey hanger that comes with the frying kit, and jam it through where the bird’s butthole would be, until it pokes out through it’s facehole. Then, hook the top part of the hanger on top so the turkey is nice and securely skewered. Gently, carefully, slowly, and trying avoid death at all costs, lower the turkey into the oil and let fry untouched for about 3 minutes per pound.
Gently lift the turkey out of the fryer, turn the burner on low, then let the bird rest until slightly cooled. Now, you get to wrap it in bacon. The good news is, there’s no wrong way to do it. The bad news is, there’s also no right way to do it. You basically have to take two lbs of bacon and hundreds of toothpicks and do some guess work until your turkey looks like Pinhead from Hellraiser. [Ed. Note: The resemblance is truly striking.]
Give that bacon-wrapped monstrosity a bath in hot oil for an additional 7 or 8 minutes, until the bacon is crispy. If you haven’t died throughout the process—good for you man!—then serve it up to your great aunt Betty, and try to tune her out as she recaps all of the previous day’s Judge Judy episodes.
Still hungry? Check out the other installments of Bite Club here.
Photos by All photos by Josh Scherer