Southern Fried Turkey

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 25 min
  • Active: 10 min
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings
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4 gallons peanut oil

One 14-pound turkey, giblets removed

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

Fresh herbs, for garnish


  1. Heat the oil to 400 degrees F in a deep-fryer. Allow about 1 hour for the oil to come up to temperature and be sure to fry in an open area. 
  2. Remove the turkey from the refrigerator and let come up to room temperature. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels. Whisk together the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, black pepper and cayenne in a small bowl. 
  3. Sprinkle the turkey generously inside the cavity and out with the spice rub. Use your fingers to separate the skin from the breasts and rub the spice mixture into the meat. Carefully and slowly lower the turkey, legs pointing down, into the deep-fryer and fry until a thermometer reads 165 degrees F when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, about 3 minutes per pound, 42 to 45 minutes. 
  4. Transfer the turkey to a baking sheet lined with a wire rack and let rest for 30 minutes before carving. Do not cover with foil while it rests or you will lose the beautiful crispness of the skin. Place on a serving platter and garnish with fresh herbs.