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Chef Intel

Hugh Acheson Fights Hunger, Deep-Fried Turkey

© Tyler Oxendine Photography

Top Chef judge and Georgia empire builder Hugh Acheson is teaming up with Captain Morgan to help fight hunger. He and the rum company are urging those who are 21 and over to tweet, Instagram or pin recipes and entertaining ideas with the hashtag #CaptainsTable. For every hashtagged post, Captain Morgan will donate $1 to WhyHunger. But that’s not the chef’s only holiday-season mission. He's also speaking out against two Thanksgiving traditions: stuffing cooked inside of a turkey and deep-frying the bird. Here, Acheson explains why.

Why you shouldn't stuff the turkey: “You have more versatility with stuffing out of the bird,” Acheson says. “And I want crispy stuffing. When I used to have both stuffing cooking inside the bird and an extra one off to the side, everyone wanted the one off to the side because it had that crust that you wanted. And think about it, steamed-inside-the-bird stuffing? That doesn’t sound good. It’s just wrong.”

Why you shouldn’t deep-fry a turkey: "I think deep-frying turkey is the biggest waste of oil, time and money and it's a threat to your neighborhood," says Acheson, who attempted the procedure once. “I did it on my front porch and in hindsight, I probably could have burned down the entire house in two minutes. It was a hundred year old house that was entirely wood—it would have gone up like that. I think people claim deep-fried turkey is good because it’s such an arduous process, but I just think the actual results suck. It’s wrong. I do not support this.”

Related: Thanksgiving Turkeys
Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipes and Dressings
Star Chefs' Thanksgiving Sides

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