Deep-Fried Turkey with Berbere Spices

"Deep-frying keeps the turkey very moist," says Marcus Samuelsson."It's also a huge time-saver—the bird cooks in about 45 minutes." Slideshow:  Ethnic Holiday Turkeys 

Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 15 mins


  • Canola oil, for deep frying

  • 1 head of garlic, halved crosswise

  • 2 rosemary sprigs

  • One 10- to 12-pound turkey, rinsed

  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder

  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 2 teaspoons celery salt

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. In a turkey deep fryer, heat the oil with the garlic halves and rosemary to 350° following the manufacturer's instructions; discard the garlic and rosemary. Put the turkey on a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet and thoroughly dry it inside and out with paper towels.

  2. In a small bowl, mix all of the remaining seasonings. Gently separate the turkey skin from the breast meat and rub some of the spice mix under the skin. Rub the remaining spice mix all over the outside of the turkey.

  3. Following the manufacturer's instructions, carefully lower the turkey into the hot oil. Fry the turkey for about 3 1/2 minutes per pound, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the breast registers 160°. Carefully transfer the fried turkey to a clean rack set over a rimmed baking sheet and let rest for 1 hour. Carve and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Fragrant, berry-rich Oregon Pinot Noir.

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