Warning: Don’t Try This At Home

Clyde Van Arsdall IV
Clyde Van Arsdall III, Clyde’s son Charlie and Clyde Van Arsdall IV frying their Thanksgiving turkey together.

Acadian Fried Turkey
Van Arsdall Family Recipe


1 or 2 10-15pound turkey(s) thawed completely*
3-4 gallons of peanut oil**

Fill pot to predetermined level with peanut oil and heat to 350-360 degrees***
Dry your thawed turkey completely inside and out.
Inject with marinade several times in the breast, legs, and thighs, wipe off excess.
Place turkey in basket, slowly lower turkey into the hot oil
Cook submerged in the oil for 3 to 4 minutes per pound. 12-14 pound turkey, 3 minutes per pound. 14-20-pound turkey, 3.5-4 minutes per pound. Never completely cover the deep fryer with a lid while
cooking, condensation will form and cause flare ups in the oil.
Remove cooked turkey from oil and check temperature, it should reach at least 170 degrees.
Wrap turkey with foil and let rest for 30 minutes before carving.

*Thawing the turkey completely is an especially important step and can take up to 35 hours in the fridge or cooler if the bird is frozen solid. Failure to thaw completely can be catastrophic.
**The safest way to know how much oil you will need is to take your turkey and place it in the pot you are using to fry in, cover the turkey with water. Remove the turkey and use a sharpie to mark the level of the water. When it is time to fry simply fill the pot to your mark with peanut oil. This guarantees that when the turkey is lowered into the pot and the oil is displaced it will not spill over and cause a fire.
***It usually take 45-1 to get oil to temperature. Do not exceed 360 as oil can smoke and catch fire.

Injection Marinade Makes about 3 cups


1 cup lemon juice
½ cup Old Bay or Zatarain’s crab boil
½ cup of olive oi
l½ cup butter
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder as
2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon Tabasco Sauce
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper


Place everything in a saucepan over medium low heat until butter is melted. Stir and continue to heat until everything is liquefied. Let cool for 5min.
While still warm, use a large food syringe to inject the marinade directly into the breast, leg, and thigh meat and spread the injections out to get the best coverage.
Wipe away any excess that leaks from the injection site before frying.
Note: Not everyone like heat, I usually do one bird with a Cajun injection and one where I just inject it with a garlic rosemary butter. This is easily made by heating butter, garlic, and rosemary and letting it sit for an hour, thus infusing the butter.


1 Turkey Fryer (can be purchased at a hardware store or online)
*1 propane tank
1 turkey injector (can be purchased at a cooking store or online)
Aluminum Foil for wrapping bird after frying
Heat resistant oven mitts or gloves for submerging and removing turkey
*Purchase one that has a propane burner, pot, cooking basket, and most importantly a thermometer.


No need to brine your turkey as the frying method traps all the moisture in the turkey.
Many recipes call for a rub on the outside of the turkey, I have found this rub tends to burn especially on larger birds that need a longer cooking time in the oil.

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Clyde Van Arsdall