Southern
Thanksgiving

You don't have to wait all day for a turkey to bake in the oven. You can deep-fry a 12-pound turkey for Thanksgiving in just 45 minutes. Check out these recipes for deep-fried turkey and chocolate pecan pie to create a Southern Thanksgiving meal your family won't soon forget.

Deep fried turkey

Deep-fried turkey

Serves 16

This Southern turkey recipe uses Creole seasoning for a Cajun flavor that you'll love. Deep-fried turkey comes out beautifully crisp on the outside and succulent inside.

Ingredients:

  • 3 gallons peanut oil for frying
  • 1, 12-pound, whole turkey, neck and giblets removed
  • 1/4 cup Creole seasoning
  • 1 white onion

Directions:

  1. In a turkey fryer, heat oil to 400 degrees F. When filling fryer with oil, be sure to leave room for the turkey or the oil will spill over.
  2. Rinse turkey and pat dry with paper towels. Rub Creole seasoning all over turkey, inside and out. Make sure the hole at the neck is open at least 2-inches so the oil can flow freely through the bird.
  3. Place the whole onion and the turkey in a drain basket. The turkey should be placed in the basket neck end first. Very slowly lower basket into hot oil to completely cover turkey. Maintain the temperature of the oil at 350 degrees F while frying, and cook turkey approximately 45 minutes (3 1/2 minutes per pound).
  4. Layer a large platter with food-safe paper bags. Carefully remove basket from oil and drain turkey. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh; the internal temperature must be 180 degrees F. Resume frying, if necessary. After removing turkey, finish draining turkey on the prepared platter.

Chocolate pecan pie

Chocolate pecan pieServes 8

You can't go wrong with this rich chocolate pecan pie recipe from Emeril Lagasse. Though you could use store-bought caramel sauce for garnish, the homemade version is so much better.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups pecans
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  • Caramel sauce (recipe follows)
  • Confectioners' sugar for garnish

Caramel sauce

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup whole milk

Directions:

  1. Combine the sugar, water, and lemon juice in a medium, heavy saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Let boil without stirring until the mixture becomes a deep amber color, 2 to 3 minutes, watching closely so it doesn't burn. Add the cream (be careful; it will bubble up), whisk to combine, and remove from the heat.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of the milk, then add up to 2 more tablespoons, until the desired consistency is reached. Let cool until just warm before serving. (The sauce will thicken as it cools.)

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