Deep-Fried Cajun Turkey

Revamp the standard turkey by coating it in Cajun spices. Be cautious when lowering the bird into the fryer.

Deep-Fried Cajun Turkey
Photo: Marty Baldwin
Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
24 mins
Stand Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 9 mins


  • 1 8-10 pound turkey

  • Peanut oil

  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt

  • 1 ½ teaspoon sweet paprika

  • ¾ teaspoon dried thyme, crushed

  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper

  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

  • ½ teaspoon onion powder

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. Remove the neck and giblets from the turkey. Rinse inside of turkey; pat dry with paper towels. If present, remove and discard the plastic leg holder and pop-up timer.

  2. Preheat oil to 350 degrees F.

  3. For rub, in a small bowl combine salt, paprika, thyme, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper. Slip your fingers between turkey skin and meat to loosen the skin over the breast and leg areas. Lift skin and spread some of the rub directly over breast, thigh, and drumstick meat. Season body cavity with any remaining rub. Tuck the ends of the drumsticks under the band of skin across the tail or tie legs to tail with 100-percent-cotton string. Twist wing tips under back.

  4. Place turkey, breast side up, in basket. Slowly lower basket into hot oil. Be cautious of splattering oil. Maintain oil temperature around 350 degrees F. Fry turkey for 24 to 30 minutes (3 minutes per pound). Remove turkey from hot oil to check doneness. Insert a meat thermometer into the meaty part of the thigh. Turkey is done when thermometer registers 180 degrees F.

  5. Remove turkey from hot oil; drain on wire rack. If the turkey has not reached 180 degrees F when you check for doneness, remove the thermometer and slowly lower the turkey back into the oil. Fry 3 to 5 minutes more and check temperature again. Let stand 15 minutes before carving. Makes 10 to 12 servings

Turkey Breast Option:

Use a 4-pound whole turkey breast with bone. Rinse and pat dry with paper towels. If present, remove pop-up timer. Preheat oil to 350 degrees F. Prepare spice mixture and rub turkey as above. Place in basket and cook as above for 32 minutes (8 minutes per pound) to 170 degrees F. Makes 8 to 10 servings

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

553 Calories
33g Fat
1g Carbs
61g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 10
Calories 553
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 33g 42%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Cholesterol 220mg 73%
Sodium 468mg 20%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
Protein 61g
Calcium 50.5mg 4%
Iron 3.8mg 21%

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Related Articles