Dreaming of a “Fry” Christmas? James Beard Award Winner Chef Linton Hopkins Shares His Savory Southern Fried Turkey Recipe

Dec 14, 2017

If you are dreaming of a “fry” Christmas and want the crispiest, juiciest holiday bird you’ve ever had without spending all day in the kitchen, James Beard Award Winning Chef Linton Hopkins may have just the recipe for you.

“Around Christmas time, frying a Turkey brings to mind the wonderful memories of being with family and friends in the crisp outdoor air, laughing and enjoying our time together. And of course the delicious fried turkey and sides, that’s what makes it a holiday tradition,” said Linton. “The secret is frying your turkey in 100% refined peanut oil. That’s what makes the skin crispy and imparts a delicious light nutty flavor in half the time of baking it in your oven.

“Refined Peanut oil is ideal because it can reach a high temperature without smoking, and it’s non-allergenic.  Frying the turkey seals the juices in.  And if you brine the turkey before frying and use an injector to inject more flavor, you’ll have one amazingly moist and flavorful turkey.”

The James Beard Award winner has posted his recipe for Savory Southern Fried Turkey on www.turkeyfrying.org. He likes to keep the ingredients simple and as local as possible. He points out that peanut oil is also trans fat-free, cholesterol-free, low in saturated fats and high in good unsaturated fats. Peanut oil does not absorb the flavor of other foods cooked in the oil. Therefore, you can cook several different items together and each will maintain their own great taste. Chef Hopkins opened restaurant Eugene in Atlanta with his sommelier wife Gina in 2004 and now operates Holeman & Finch, Hop’s Chicken and C. Ellet’s in the Battery, the new development that is part of the Atlanta Braves’ SunTrust Stadium.

Chef Hopkins attended the Culinary Institute of America, which offers some deep-frying turkey safety tips for the Christmas holiday:

  • Keep a safe distance from the fryer
  • Ensure you read and understand the manual that comes with your fryer
  • Never attempt to deep-fry indoors (unless working with a special indoor table-top fryer)
  • Never leave fryer unattended
  • Do not allow pets or children near fryer
  • Do not attempt to fry turkey in rainy weather
  • Wear long thick gloves and goggles
  • Do not cover with lid while frying
  • Allow oil to cool 110 degrees before handling or cleaning up

The Peanut Institute is a non-profit organization supporting nutrition research and developing educational programs to encourage healthful lifestyles that include peanuts and peanut products. The Peanut Institute pursues its mission through research programs, educational initiatives, and the promotion of healthful lifestyles to consumers of all ages. As an independent forum, The Peanut Institute is uniquely positioned to work with all segments of the food industry, the research community, academia, consumer organizations, and governmental institutions.