How to Deep-Fry Turkey Legs

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Deep-frying a turkey leg isn't nearly the complicated task that many people make it out to be. Deep-fry turkey legs at home with help from Balducci's Food Lover's Market's Corporate Executive Chef Jason Miller in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Robust Recipes
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Video Transcript

Hello, my name is Jason Miller. I'm the corporate executive chef for Balducci's Food Lovers Market and today we're going to talk about brining and deep frying turkey legs but before we do that, very very critical part in my opinion is to brine. You don't have to brine but I highly recommend it especially for animals with the dark meat, legs in particular with a lot of connective tissue and a lot of muscle that equals toughness. What the brining does is kind of help break that down. It also introduces flavor into the meat as well. I mean the turkey legs are pretty flavorful to begin with but the brine really helps. It starts the preserving process and it's really a classic way to do things especially with the legs of birds, turkeys, goose, duck, what have you. I did these overnight but you know these are probably three and a half pounds, four pounds, so four hours would be fine. Once they come out of the brine they need to dry. You know you can pat them dry but it's best if you let them sit on a rack for a couple hours up to overnight. This would really help if you are smoking them. If you're going to smoke them, you could do, what's going to happen is when it dries it's going to form a skin. The skin is called a pellicle and that's what actually adheres the smoke. So we're not going to smoke these. We're actually going to deep fry them and it's going to work, you know, just the same. This pellicle is going to kind of adhere the brownness from the deep fryer. So what we have here, this is an industrial kitchen set. We do have, you know, a fryolater. When you are frying something, especially something this big, you want to make sure that the oil temperature is not too hot but in turn not too cold. If it's too cold it's not going to form a crust, it's not going to lock the juices in and it's not going to, it's not going to be crispy but if it's too hot, the outside is going to be burnt too crispy before the inside is done. So I have this set at about 300 degrees. So it's quite simple, just be very careful when putting them in the deep fryer. You can see it's just starting to, like I said it's not super hot but it's not super cold either. Just be careful when putting these in. You want to kind of get them started and then just lay them in gently. When you are cooking turkey you want to make sure that it comes to 165 degrees. You know, when you are brining the meat that really helps protect it form bacteria but just, you know, just a note on when you buy this protein, just you know, trust the sources that you are getting it from and make sure you are buying as fresh as possible. Okay so we've got them in here for about 20 minutes. We've checked them with our stem thermometer. We're at 170 degrees. I just got a paper towel lined sheet tray here. You know normally I would say when something is coming out of the deep fryer, especially when it's still hot is to go ahead and give it some good seasoning but this has been soaking in a salt-based brine overnight. It's got plenty of seasoning and like I said these things are ready to eat. You're going to notice that what that brine does, it turns that meat pink, almost like a ham and that's what the curing salt and the salt does to protein. Okay so these are brined and deep fried turkey legs and I'm Jason Miller, I'm the corporate executive chef for Balducci's Food Lovers Market and thanks for watching.


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