Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller
Peanut oil (about 3 gal.)
1 (12- to 14-lb.) whole fresh or frozen turkey, thawed
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 (1-lb.) package thick pepper bacon
1/4 cup ground red pepper
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
How to Make It
Pour oil into a deep propane turkey fryer 10 to 12 inches from top; heat to 350° over a medium-low flame according to manufacturer's instructions (about 45 minutes).
Meanwhile, remove giblets and neck from turkey; pat turkey dry. Stir together salt and pepper. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp. salt mixture inside cavity; rub into cavity. Sprinkle outside of turkey with remaining salt mixture; rub into skin. Let turkey stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
Using long-handled tongs, carefully lower bacon, 1 slice at a time, into hot oil. Fry 1 to 2 minutes or until bacon is brown and crisp. Drain bacon on a paper towel-lined baking sheet; reserve bacon for another use.
Place turkey on fryer rod. Carefully lower turkey into hot oil with rod attachment. Fry 35 to 45 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion of turkey thigh registers 165° (about 3 minutes per pound plus an additional 5 minutes). Keep oil temperature between 325° and 345°. Remove turkey from oil; drain and let stand 30 minutes before carving. Reserve 1 cup frying oil from fryer.
Stir together ground red pepper, brown sugar, paprika, and garlic powder in a medium saucepan. Carefully whisk in reserved 1 cup frying oil, and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, 5 minutes. Brush mixture over turkey, and serve immediately.
Note: We tested with LouAna Peanut Oil.
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