You may have tasted, or heard about, the glories of a proper deep-fried turkey at Thanksgiving. But trying this yourself at home, without an experienced fry cook on hand and without some serious distance between the fry pot and your house, is not advised.
Vats of hot oil over open flames are recipes for disaster on Thanksgiving, and there is a whole genre of YouTube video about this. Basically, you can't put a frozen or very cold turkey into hot oil, you have to actually know your oil temperature, and you can't go over-estimating how much oil you need, leading to immediate overflow and explosive flames when you drop the bird in.
Enter the professionals at Kim's Louisiana Fried Turkey & Stuff in Richmond, who have made a full-time business out of frying up turkey legs and whole turkeys year-round. Launched in 2019, Kim's is the brainchild of chef and owner Phillip Mitchell and his wife Kim Knox, and as they tell KQED, the inspiration came about because there weren't enough restaurants locally where you could buy Cajun- or Creole-style fried turkey.
And, as Mitchell tells the station, it's not the kind of thing everyone should be trying at home.
"A lot of folks think it’s fun and games and look it up on YouTube," Mitchell says. "You can ruin your holiday real quick with just a few missteps."
Mitchell says he'll be frying dozens of birds for Thanksgiving orders, and he's got his technique and equipment down so he can fry six birds at once.
And while they may be best eaten right out of the fryer, or close to it, Kim's customers have found they reheat well too — and Mitchell says he has customers pick up birds days before Thanksgiving to take down to L.A. or fly out to Atlanta.
If you want a deep-fried bird for your holiday, the time to place an order is now or soon. Kim's Louisiana Fried Turkey & Stuff is offering catering packages with sides and all to serve 10 or more people, starting at $280. Individual turkeys of 13 to 16 pounds may also be available by phone order.
Pickups will run all the way until 1 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, and the website suggests some delivery options may be available for an extra fee. Call or text 707-853-6826 for details.
Photo via Kim's Louisian Fried Turkey