Thanksgiving Treat: Copeland's Cajun Fried Turkey

YouTube video of deep frying a turkey: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAva3W8N6uU


Cajun Fried Turkey for the Holidays

A Tradition that New Orleans Can’t Keep to Itself!


ATLANTA, November 19, 2013 -- Frying whole turkeys is sort of the Southern version of tailgating before a football game. It is a very social event, like boiling crawfish or grilling out with friends and family. The difference is that you are dealing with 350 degree oil and a large water based bird that can cause the oil to overflow or bubble up if the bird is not thawed and drained properly.

Bill Goudey, CEO of Copeland’s of New Orleans, Atlanta Franchise, grew up in New Orleans and came to Atlanta in 1997 when he opened his restaurants.  In his hometown, Cajun fried turkey, rather than baked turkey, is served at Thanksgiving and Christmas. He says that this juicy turkey with outside crispiness originated in the bayous of Louisiana and Texas in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It wasn’t until the mid-90’s that fried turkeys became exceedingly popular when Martha Stewart put a recipe in her magazine and cooked one on her TV show in 1996.

Copeland’s, whose two Atlanta restaurants are located in Cobb County (Cumberland and Kennesaw areas), has sold over 20,000 of these Cajun birds in the last 15 years. Goudey gives a few tips for people who want to cook the turkeys at home.

1.       Thaw the bird for two days and drain it completely.

2.       Inject with poultry seasonings and marinade for 24 hours, then cook in 350°F peanut oil.

3.       Make sure the turkey is dry before placing it into the oil, so that the oil will keep from sparking.

4.       Turn off the flame when you put the turkey in or you could get burned.

5.       Watch to make sure the pot doesn't boil over and is protected at all times.

6.       It only takes 45 minutes to cook a 12-14 pound Turkey, but the instructions are the most important tool.

7.       When using a recipe, study the ingredients. If you see something in the ingredients that you and your family don't like or can't use, then try to think of another ingredient.

Cajun fried turkeys are available from the catering and Holiday Specialties menu at both Copeland’s of New Orleans in Atlanta—as well as all over the U.S.—for the holidays and year-round.     

For more information please visit www.CopelandsAtlanta.com.


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