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Fried Turkey Brined in Cayenne and Brown Sugar

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“Deep-frying a turkey is not as hard as it sounds and it yields an exquisitely moist and crispy bird much quicker then roasting. Use a deep fryer that is made for a turkey that comes with a thermostat and a metal basket for lowering and removing the turkey. Heating the oil can take up to an hour, so plan accordingly. A 12-pound turkey cooks in just 36 minutes (3 minutes per pound). Recipe by Allison Vines-Rushing and Slade Rushing from Rushing Home for Thanksgiving. 36 hours for brining. WINE: A medium-light Gewürztraminer is ideally suited to the spicy brine and the deep fried turkey. Try a Lynskeys Gewürztraminer Marlborough Wairau Peaks Vineyard 2002 or the German, Machmer Bechtheimer Stein Gewürztraminer Spätlese 2003.”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In a whole-turkey-size stockpot, whisk brown sugar, mustard, salt and cayenne.
  2. Gradually whisk in water, and then add thyme and garlic.
  3. Add turkey, cover and brine in refrigerator for 35 hours.
  4. If you cannot fit the pot in your refrigerator, you can place it in an ice chest or other container (keep an eye on your ice).
  5. Bring the oil to 375° in your turkey fryer - this can take up to an hour.
  6. Remove turkey from brine and pat it dry inside and out with paper towels.
  7. If your family or guests are salt-sensitive wash the turkey thoroughly then pat until it is dry as you can get it with paper towels.
  8. Transfer the turkey to a frying basket, breast side up.
  9. Lower into oil and fry for 3 minutes per pound, 36 minutes.
  10. Lift the basket out of the fryer and drain the turkey on a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet or pan for about 15 minutes.
  11. Carve and serve.
  12. Take extra care with the hot oil - Any hotter than 375F and you risk it catching fire.

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