Good Morning America Recipes

Emeril's Deep-Fried Cajun Turkey

Emeril Lagasse Kicks Up a Thanksgiving Favorite

GMA Recipes Dinner
Servings:Over 8
Difficulty: Difficult
Cook Time: min

Follow the directions closely for Emeril's deep-fried turkey. You must cook this turkey outside. You should wear goggles and gloves. Also have a fire extinguisher on hand. Remember, your safety is the first step in this recipe. We've included a number of safety tips at the bottom of this recipe, and you should read them before you begin.


  • Turkey
  • 2 turkeys (8-14 lbs each)
  • 10 gallons peanut oil
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1/2 tbsp cayenne
  • 1/4 tbsp black pepper
  • Emeril's Cajun Marinade
  • 2 tablespoon Lea & Perrins worcestershire
  • 1/4 cup apple cider
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1 bottled beer
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • pinch of clove
  • 1/2 cup Emeril's Original Essence
  • Equipment
  • 40-60 quart pot with basket, burner and propane tank
  • candy thermometer, to measure heat oil
  • meat thermometer, to test turkey doneness
  • safety goggles
  • fire-safe gloves and pot holders
  • fire extinguisher
  • seasoning injector
  • Cooking Directions

    Season and cure the turkey with salt, pepper and cayenne. Rub seasoning on skin and let sit overnight.

    In a blender, add all the dry ingredients together and let it spin in the Cuisinart about 30 times - until it's blended. Then add all the wet ingredients to the dry to make the marinade. Puree on high for 4-6 minutes. Make sure all ingredients are completely pureed and add to an injector. In New Orleans, the marinade is injected all over the turkey by syringe before cooking. Try to get a thick and sturdy syringe. You can get them at most cooking utensil stores.

    Heat oil to 350 degrees F. Depending on the amount of oil used, this usually takes between 45 minutes and one hour. (To determine the correct amount of oil, place the turkey in the basket and place in the pot. Add water until it reaches 1 to 2 inches above the turkey. Remove the turkey and note the water level, using a ruler to measure the distance from the top of the pot to the surface of the water. Pour out water and dry the pot thoroughly. Be sure to measure for oil before breading or marinating the turkey.)

    While the oil is heating, prepare the turkey as desired - inject the marinade as desired.

    Once the oil has come to temperature, place the turkey in the basket and slowly lower into the pot. Whole turkeys require approximately 3 minutes per pound to cook. Remove turkey and check internal temperature with meat thermometer. The temperature should reach 170 degrees F in the breast and 180 degrees F in the thigh. Turkey parts such as breast, wings and thighs require approximately 4 to 5 minutes per pound to come to temperature.

    Recipes copyright ©1999 Emeril Lagasse.

    Fryer Beware: Safety Tips:

    Remember you're dealing with gallons of dangerously hot oil, so make sure there are no kids or pets running around. And you want to wear some old shoes that you can slip out of easily and long pants just in case you do spill some oil on you.

    Place fryer on level dirt or grassy area. Never fry a turkey indoors, in a garage or in any other structure attached to a building. Avoid frying on wood decks, which could catch fire, and concrete, which can be stained by the oil.

    Never leave the hot oil unattended and don't allow children or pets near the cooking area.

    Allow the oil to cool completely before disposing or storing.

    Immediately wash hands, utensils, equipment and surfaces that have come in contact with raw turkey.

    Turkey should be consumed immediately and leftovers stored in the refrigerator within two hours of cooking.

    [SOURCE: The National Turkey Federation (202) 898-0100]

    Recipe Summary

    Main Ingredients: turkey, apple cider, beer, peanut oil

    Course: Dinner, Main Course

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