Thanksgiving a time to celebrate our friends, family and loved ones.

This is a time in all our lives to be thankful for our health, our family, our friends and our many colleagues.  World peace and free gas would be a bonus, but hey, we have everything else. Having lived in Manitoba for 10 years now I have come to realise how this time of year, the harvest time is a very special time for everyone.

The origins of the first Thanksgiving in Canada as I can ascertain dates back to an explorer, Martin Frobisher, who had been trying to find a northern passage to the Pacific Ocean. Frobisher’s Thanksgiving celebration was not for harvest, but for homecoming. He had safely returned from an unsuccessful search for the Northwest Passage, avoiding the later fate of Henry Hudson and Sir John Franklin. In the year 1578, Frobisher held a formal ceremony in Newfoundland to give thanks for surviving the long journey. Most of the U.S. aspects of Thanksgiving (such as the turkey) were incorporated when United Empire Loyalists, began to flee from the United States during the American Revolution and settled in Canada.

Deep Fried Cajun Turkey

The first time was a pretty messy experience for me. But, from what I hear, a growing number of people are doing this very thing. It is so much quicker and can be a lot fun if done properly. You’ll need to buy a 10 – 15 lb. range. Any larger and your bird may be burnt and dry on the outside by the time its’ cooked.

Determine how much oil you will need by placing the thawed and cleaned out Turkey on the fryer rack, legs up. Place this in your Turkey pot then add water to just cover the top of the Turkey. Remove the Turkey with rack and mark the water level. (This is how much oil you will use).

Now you can marinade your bird.

Marinade Ingredients
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
6 cloves of Garlic
½ cup chopped chives
2 medium onions, cut into eighths
4-6 ribs of celery
4 tablespoons Cajun powder
2 Gallons peanut oil

Having cleaned your turkey place in a large roasting pan. Stuff some of the onion and celery inside the bird with the remainder alongside your turkey in the pan. Mix together all other ingredients apart from the Cajun powder then brush all over your bird. Then add 2 cups of water to the pan. Cover your turkey with foil and place inside your refrigerator. Leave there for a day, occasionally baste with some of the liquid.

When you are ready to cook pre-heat your oil until the desired temperature, 325 to 350 degrees on a meat thermometer. Remove your turkey from the marinade, and clean all vegetables from cavities and drain any excess liquid pat dry with kitchen towel. Generously sprinkle your Cajun powder over the entire turkey.

Pick the turkey up by the holding the legs and lower carefully into the hot oil. Cook, breast side down, turning after 15 minutes or so and then for a further 10 minutes. Carefully remove and leave to drain on a wire rack. Serve…. Yummy really tender moist Turkey, with the typical trimmings or not.

Our recommendation if you are going to try this is to cook the turkey over a heat source outdoors, not your deck or garage. You can expect splashing and drips while the turkey is cooking and being taken from the pot. 

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