John McLemore's Ranch Fried Turkey and Buffalo Sauce: Part I
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For the Turkey:
- For the Turkey: 1 whole turkey, fresh or completely thawed (10 to 14 pounds)
- 2 gallons cooking oil, preferably peanut oil
- 12 ounces water
- 9 tablespoons dry Ranch seasoning (or 3- 1 oz. packets)
For the Buffalo Sauce:
- 1 (10 to 12 ounce) bottle of your favorite hot sauce
- 1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup)
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly-squeezed lime juice
Thaw turkey, if frozen. (To properly thaw a frozen turkey in the refrigerator, allow approximately 24 hours for every 4 pounds.)
Fill deep fryer with 2 gallons of oil and heat to 375°F. Remove giblets and neck from turkey. If present, remove and discard plastic leg holder and pop-up timer. Rinse turkey thoroughly with warm water or completely cover with warm water and soak for no more than 30 minutes to ensure cavity is free of ice.
Pat turkey completely dry on outside and inside of cavity with paper towels. Whisk together water and dry Ranch seasoning. Using a marinade injection syringe, inject 1/2 cup (4 ounces) marinade in each breast. Inject 1/4 cup (2 ounces) marinade into each leg and thigh. Optional: Sprinkle turkey generously with dry Ranch seasoning, completely coating the outside of the turkey and inside of the cavity.
Place turkey, breast side up, in fryer basket. Slowly lower the basket into hot oil, being careful not to splatter hot oil. Fry turkey for 3-4 minutes per pound. Lift the basket from the hot oil slowly. Insert a meat thermometer in the meaty part of the breast; turkey is done when it reads 165°F. If the turkey is not done, lower it carefully back into the oil for an additional 5 minutes. Once the turkey reaches the desired temperature (minimum 165°F), remove from oil.
Allow the turkey to rest and drain in the fryer basket for 10 minutes before removing for carving.
For the sauce, combine hot sauce, butter, garlic powder and lime juice in a medium saucepan. Heat over low heat.
Serve turkey topped with buffalo sauce or with sauce alongside for dipping.
For Buffalo Ranch Gravy: Mix one part Ranch dressing with two parts buffalo sauce. Season with dry Cajun seasoning to taste. Makes a great dipping sauce!