Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Fryday

Man, do I like Thanksgiving! It's probably my favorite holiday, or at least in the top two or three. And, before I go any further, yes, I do, in fact, know how to spell the names of the days of the week. The appropriateness of the apparent misspelling will become clear in the next several seconds, depending on your reading speed.

Over the past few years, our family has established a new, for us, tradition around Thanksgiving. When we gather at our house for TG, we have our traditional dinner on Thursday afternoon - turkey and stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy and home made noodles, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, rolls, green bean casserole, corn, a meat stuffing, mayo salad, pumpkin pie (two kinds, actually - best pumpkin pie in 4 states) buried in whipped cream, plus snacks earlier in the day - spinach dip, veggies and chips with a ranch dip, etc. Then some turkey sandwiches, another round of pie, plus some of the other leftovers in the evening. Okay, that's Thursday.

The more recent undertaking has been the next day, which has evolved into Fryday. That's when we do the second turkey. It's usually a little smaller. This year, the TG day turkey was a 20-pounder. The second one was about 14. Of course, the second one is fried. In a regular turkey fryer. In 4 gallons of peanut oil. That's the most expensive part - the peanut oil. So, to get ready, you shoot up the turkey with some cajun marinade - you can get the injectable liquid stuff at supermarkets or grill stores. Then you coat it with some Tony C's cajun spices. Let it sit while you do some other stuff. The other stuff starts with heating the 4 gallons of oil in the fryer to about 350 F. Then you start frying. We did some sweet potato fries - pretty thick cut - about 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch by 2 -4 inches long. They fry up nice in about 6 minutes. Cut 'em ahead of time and soak in very cold water. Then we did some regular fries. Then some onion rings. These were all appetizer offerings to munch on while the turkey was frying. It went in next - takes about 45 minutes for a 14 pound turkey. Yup, that's right - between 3 and 3-1/2 minutes per pound. After the turkey comes out of the fryer, it has to cool and firm up a bit for slicing. Perfect time to fry some more sweet potato fries, french fries and onion rings. Also, got a challenge from K, our daughter-in-law. She said, "Hey, Pops, you're always talking about chicken fried bacon. Why don't you make some?" (See the earlier post on CFB.)

So we did. We used the same batter and breading we had been using for the o-rings. Coated bacon slices and dropped them in the fryer for a couple of minutes. You need to fry until both the breading and the bacon are crisp, but not burned. Pretty comparable to Sodolak's. So now there are two places in Texas you can get chicken fried bacon. Unfortunately, one of them may only be serving 1 or 2 days each year. It was really good. We didn't have any of the white cream gravy like they serve the CFB and chicken fried steaks with, but I did try it with a little ranch. Very nice taste combination.

So, anyway, that was Fryday. Yeah, it may not be our healthiest eating day, but it sure was good. The kids and grandkids and various granddogs and cat were here. These are the best days ever.

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