The Jew And The Carrot

Dry-Brined Deep-Fried Holiday Turkey

By Rivka Friedman

  • Print
  • Share Share
rivka friedman

Pair this delicious turkey with ginger-allspice latkes and tangy cranberry applesauce for a Thanksgivukkah feast..

Serves 4; requires 1 day’s preparation
Special equipment: digital thermometer (optional, but very helpful)

¼ kosher salt 2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon chili flakes
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
3 whole star anise (or 1½ tablespoons of star anise pieces)
4 medium-to-large turkey legs
1 gallon vegetable oil (canola, peanut or grape seed will work, too)

1) In a small pan, toast anise and fennel over medium heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder or mortar along with chili flakes, and grind until mostly smooth. Pour into a bowl, and add salt and brown sugar. Stir to combine.

2) Wipe turkey legs with a damp paper towel, and set on a large plate. Rub dry brine all over turkey. Then transfer the plate to the refrigerator and chill, uncovered, for at least 8 hours and up to 2 days.

3) Pour the oil into a very large stock pot. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pot, turn the heat to medium-high and bring the oil to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

4) While the oil heats up, rinse the dry brine off your turkey and dry very thoroughly. Any liquid that remains on the turkey will splatter when it hits the oil, so be sure to wipe the turkey legs several times (using paper towels) until they are bone dry. Set the legs on a clean plate. You’ll be cooking them 2 at a time.

5) Stick the heat-safe end of your digital thermometer into the largest of your turkey legs. Starting with that leg, carefully add the legs to the pot: hold each leg by its thin end, and set it gently into the oil, round end first. While I found gloves unnecessary, you definitely want an apron, and you might consider long sleeves. If your legs are dry, the oil will sizzle a bit, but it will not splatter.

6) Add a second turkey leg to the pot. Set your digital thermometer to notify you when the turkey legs have reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees. In my pot, that took about 20 minutes. If you’re nervous about undercooking, 22–23 minutes should do the trick.

7) When the turkey legs are done, carefully remove them from the oil, using long, heat-safe tongs. Transfer the finished legs to yet another clean plate, and allow them to rest for at least 3–5 minutes before digging in. Cook the remaining legs in the same manner.

8) Serve with turkey schmaltz latkes and cranberry applesauce. Happy Thanksgivukkah!

Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: thanksgivukkah, deep fried turkey, thanksgivukkah recipes

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Find us on Facebook!
  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels.
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?

We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.