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To Fry, or Not to Fry? That is the (Eternal) Question

By Chef Judi Gallagher –

It seems as if there are two groups of people when it comes to how to cook a turkey: those who swear that frying is the best thing since turkey became food, and those who prefer a turkey that’s been slow-roasted in an oven for hours. I have some friends who fry, some who roast, and some – bless their hearts – who do both. And I don’t see one side of the fry-equation winning out anytime soon: those whom I’ve informally surveyed are pretty much split down the middle.

Fried turkey is certainly popular these days, and with good reason. A crispy, golden-brown bird yields bites that are moist and flavorful, especially when the turkey has been rubbed with a great mix of seasonings. Plus, frying is fast – much faster than roasting.

There are some downsides to frying, though namely that frying can be dangerous (always fry outside in an open area). Starting fires due to fryers filled with too much oil is an unfortunately common occurrence, on top of which buying gallons of oil for frying isn’t especially cost-effective.

Similarly, there are pros and cons to roasting, as well. Roasting is certainly safer than frying, and a common misconception is that a roasted turkey is a dry turkey. Not so, just make sure to properly brine (if you plan on doing it), baste, season, and monitor the bird while it cooks. Plus, roasted turkey is a tradition dating back to the first Thanksgiving (I’m pretty sure the Pilgrims didn’t fry their turkeys).

Me, I’m still undecided about how I’m going to cook my own Thanksgiving Day bird. But until I make my own decision, please weigh in with yours – will you be roasting or frying this year?

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