Backyard Fireball – Thanksgiving edition
Editor’s Note: In the interest of preserving the environment this holiday season, we are recycling some old blog posts. Don’t worry – most of the links work.
Are you gonna deep fry a turkey this Thanksgiving? Put the fire department on speed dial – especially if you’re gonna be hoisting a few. Actually I do have some experience with this, and I will attest that the first and most important step in deep frying a turkey is getting oneself properly hydrated with your favorite beer.
I can’t really remember when I first saw my crazy Louisiana relatives frying a turkey. It may have been in the 1980s some time; we went over to see our relatives in and around Cecilia and Catahoula, Louisiana (yes, near the Atchafalaya Swamp) and early one morning those insane bastards were out in the cold, drinking beer and plunging poor turkeys into boiling grease. Now my Louisiana relatives – who refer to themselves and each other as “coonass” – will stalk, shoot, clean and cook pretty much anything that walks, swims or flies. And they do this with a deadly efficiency, particularly when they’re drunk.
Anyhow, my old man decided to fry one himself one year. We got everything ready, turkey immersed in grease and we started our timing (about three minutes for every pound of turkey) and of course, our beer drinking. I dunno what the correct beer-to-frying-time ratio is, but our turkey turned out OK. And during Super Bowl XXVII in 1994 (Cowboys vs. Bills) we fried one on my back porch and put in too much oil. When the turkey went in, the oil came out and … my eyebrows and arm hair grew back but there’s still a big burn mark on my patio Astroturf.
Since then, I’m content to smoke turkeys on my Weber grill while spinnin’ the albums Alice’s Restaurant by Arlo Guthrie and The Last Waltz by the Band (which was recorded on Thanksgiving Day, 1976). Which, I should add, is a tradition rich in patio time and a much extended beer-to-turkey-cooking ratio.
More wisdom from Louisiana: Stay away from the dreaded turducken! My Uncle Harold once said, “Never eat anything with ‘turd’ in the name.” Hell, that dude fried pork chops! Pecan pies must always have a little bourbon, your dressing must be cornbread and it never hurts to whip up a batch of pralines. And never, ever bet on the Lions!
Uh, guess you need to get goin’ to work on your own turkey. Thanks to you, our loyal readers, for supporting this blog. Since 2008 we have had more than 1.3 million readers, and we appreciate that. We’ll close the dump for Thanksgiving but will be back next week to start the Christmas watch. We’ll keep rockin’ as long as we can! Happy Thanksgiving.