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Deep-fried turkeys in peanut oil are quickly becoming more popular and are now the second most preferred way to cook turkey. From tailgaters to pop stars, what was once a traditional southern-secret is now being celebrated by many.
On the newly enhanced site, turkeyfrying.net provides turkey-lovers new recipes that were highlighted at a recent meeting at the Culinary Institute of America. These recipes included seasoned brines to marinate the bird along with interesting recipes to make use of your leftover turkey!
The cooking style is a favorite of superchefs Paula Deen and Emerile Lagasse. This year on Thanksgiving night, ABC will air “A Very Gaga Thanksgiving” where even Lady Gaga will prepare a deep-fried turkey and waffles with chef Art Smith, Oprah Winfrey’s former personal chef who is known for his expertise in southern cooking. Katie Couric is hosting the show.
Some may associate deep-fried foods with being highly unhealthy, but in the new book “Just Because You’re an American Doesn’t Mean You Have To Eat Like One!”, author Michele Jacobson takes a closer look at this deep-frying technique. A deep-fried turkey fried in peanut oil is similar nutritionally when compared to a traditional roasted turkey in fat and calorie count. This is because the moisture in the turkey repels the oil rather than absorbing it during the deep-frying process. Due to its high temperature, the oil cannot go against the direction of the water vapor as it pushes the bubbles toward the surface so the hot oil steams the bird from the inside out.
Per serving, they two types of turkey are about the same. A 4-ounce serving of roasted turkey has 241 calories and 12 grams of fat while a 4-ounce serving of turkey deep-fried in peanut oil comes in at 253 calories and under 14 grams of fat, a very subtle difference.
Fried turkey is traditionally prepared in 100 percent peanut oil because it naturally maintains high temperatures throughout the cooking process resulting in a bird that is crispy on the outside, moist on the inside and has a slight nutty taste.
Peanut oil is the preferred vehicle for frying because it is naturally trans fat-free, cholesterol free, and low in saturated fats. A major study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that 100 percent peanut oil provides the same heart healthy benefits as olive oil. Peanut oil is high in unsaturated fats, especially monounsaturated fat, and is a natural source of heart-healthy vitamin E and phytosterols.
The Peanut Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting nutrition research and educational programs that contribute to healthful lifestyles. For further information on this and other studies visit www.peanut-institute.org.