Fried Whole Turkey

NOTES: Many people like to rub a turkey with a Cajun seasoning mix, available in many                               supermarkets these days. But I prefer a simple mix of salt and black pepper.

Ingredients: 1 wild turkey
                  4 gallons peanut oil
                  Cajun rub (optional)
                  salt and pepper

          In a large, tall cooker, heat the oil to 375 degrees, preferably with the aid of a grease thermometer. Pluck and draw the turkey, then sprinkle it inside and out with salt and pepper, with Cajun rub, or with a combination. When the oil is hot, lower the bird into it carefully. Turn the heat up until the oil comes back to 375. Then adjust the heat and fry the bird three or four minutes per pound, until is golden brown. Carefully remove the bird, and let it drain before serving. I will continue to cook on the inside for several minutes, while the eating table is readied. Place the bird on a large platter and set it in the middle of the table, to be carved and served along with dressing, giblet gravy, steamed vegetables, homemade biscuits, cranberry sauce, and all the trimmings. If you don't have a giblet gravy to top the dressing, try the one below.
          Notes: If you want an especially attractive platter, pluck some quail, sprinkle them with salt and pepper, dust with flour, and fry them up after the turkey is done, or cook them separately. Put the turkey in the center of the platter and the fried quail all around, perhaps with a sprig or two of green stuff stuck in here and there.

American Hunter, April 1999