Spice Up Thanksgiving With Cajun Turkey From Popeyes® Chicken & Biscuits

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Restaurants begin taking orders for prepared turkeys on Nov. 1

Popeyes® Chicken & Biscuits spices up this year's Thanksgiving dinner with its succulent Cajun Turkey, influenced by the low-country combination of French and Southern cuisine. Cajun-style cooking has grown in popularity as a flavorful alternative that is sure to add Louisiana-style zest to the traditional holiday meal.

Beginning Nov. 1, customers can order a fully cooked Popeyes Cajun Turkey at participating restaurants while supplies last. Each turkey is infused with Popeyes' special Cajun spice blend, flavoring the bird deep to the bone, and then encrusted with another spicy Cajun seasoning to seal in the savory flavor of the meat. The turkeys are flash fried to create a delicious, crispy coating and then slow roasted to perfection.

"In Louisiana, Thanksgiving isn't Thanksgiving without a delicious Cajun Turkey on the table," said Kirk Waisner, Popeyes vice president of menu development. "We're excited to once again offer our customers the chance to enjoy this delicious bayou delight at their own holiday celebrations."

Popeyes Cajun Turkeys weigh approximately 12 to 14 pounds and feed eight to 10 people. Customers can locate a restaurant in their area selling Popeyes' authentic Cajun Turkeys by visiting http://www.popeyes.com after Nov. 1.

At-home chefs also can visit the Popeyes Web site at http://www.popeyes.com/heritage.php for an easy-to-follow recipe to make Cajun Turkey from scratch as well as many delicious side items including Stuffed Mashed Potatoes, Green Bean Casserole and Oyster & Buttermilk Biscuit Holiday Dressing.

About Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits
Founded in 1972 in New Orleans, Popeyes is a leader in the New Orleans segment of the foodservice industry and is the world's second largest quick-service chicken concept. As of July 5, 2007, Popeyes had 1,878 restaurants in the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam and 23 foreign countries. For more information, visit Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits' Web site at http://www.popeyes.com.

At-Home Recipe Cajun Fried Turkey
Serves 6-8

3 tablespoons Salt
3 tablespoons Black pepper
1 tablespoon White pepper
2 tablespoons Cayenne pepper
1 pound Butter
1 10-12 pound whole turkey
1 recipe Seasoning mix (see recipe below)
5 gallons Peanut oil
1 Meat injector needle, available at cooking stores
1 Outdoor propane burner
1 7-10 gallon pot with basket or rack
1 High quality candy thermometer

Cajun Turkey Seasoning Mix

8 tablespoons Kosher salt
8 tablespoons Garlic pepper
8 tablespoons White pepper
2 teaspoons Cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon Onion powder

Combine all ingredients into one bowl. Use mixture to sprinkle and rub onto the outside and inside of the turkey for extra flavor.

Preparing the Cajun Turkey

1. Important note before you begin: To identify the correct amount of oil to use in your pot, place the turkey in the pot before adding seasoning and add water until the turkey is covered. Measure the amount of water and use a corresponding amount of oil. Dry the pot thoroughly of all water before placing the oil in the pot.

2. Combine the salt, black pepper, white pepper, cayenne pepper and butter together in a sauce pan. Heat until the butter is melted and all ingredients are well blended.

3. Allow the mixture to cool to about 100 degrees F and pour it into an injector needle. Inject the turkey, making sure to infuse all of the thick areas such as the breast and legs.

4. Take out the turkey neck and giblets and set aside. Wash the turkey well with cold water and pat dry completely with paper towels. Be sure to dry both the inside and outside of the turkey.

5. Place the turkey in a large pan and rub the inside and outside of the turkey with 1/2 of the seasoning mix. Do not truss or tie legs together. Cut off the wing tips and plump little tail so they do not get caught in the fryer basket. Cover the pan and store it in your refrigerator overnight.

6. Place the outdoor gas burner on a level dirt or grassy area. Never fry a turkey indoors, in a garage or in any structure attached to a building. Do not fry on wood decks, which could catch fire, or concrete, which could be stained by any oil spills. Also, have a fire extinguisher on hand as an added safety device.

7. Add oil to a 7-10 gallon pot with a basket or rack. Heat the oil on medium-high setting until it reaches 325 degrees F (this should take approximately 20-40 minutes).

8. Place the turkey head down in a basket or on a rack.

9. When the deep-fry thermometer reaches 325 degrees F, slowly and carefully lower the turkey into the hot oil. The oil level will rise from the frothing caused by the moisture from the turkey but will settle in about 1 minute. (Important: Wear oven mitts/gloves, long sleeves, heavy shoes and even glasses. Also be sure to have two people assisting to lower and raise the turkey in and out of the pot.)

10. Check the oil temperature right away and increase the flame to maintain 325 degrees F oil temperature.

11. Cook the turkey about 3-4 minutes per pound, or about 35-42 minutes for a 10-12 pound turkey. Heat must be monitored and regulated at all times, so never leave the pot unattended.

12. When the turkey is cooked (measured with a thermometer: 170 degrees F in the breast or 180 degrees F in the thigh), carefully remove it from the hot oil. Let the turkey drain for a few minutes. Also, be sure to let the oil cool completely before storing or disposing it.

13. Remove the turkey from the rack and place it on a serving platter. Immediately sprinkle turkey with the remainder of the seasoning mix. Allow the turkey to sit for 20 minutes before carving for your holiday feast!


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