Jacksonville restaurant shares secrets for the perfect fried turkey

Every year, Copeland's prepares more than 1,200 Cajun-fried turkeys

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Cajun-fried turkey is a tradition at one restaurant on the Southside of Jacksonville. 

Every year, Copeland's of New Orleans on Southside Boulevard prepares more than 1,200 fried turkeys.

The rush starts the week before and Copeland's doesn't stop frying until after Thanksgiving.

News4Jax spent Tuesday morning at Copeland's to see how its perfect fried turkeys are made.

It takes a team of two to make sure that the turkeys are fried the right way. 

First, they start with a seasoned bird. Then, they run it through flour and stack the turkeys up before they put them in the oil. 

Next, they let the oil do its work. The turkeys don't need much fussing over while they're cooking -- just a quick temperature check and flip when they're almost done cooking.

They double checks the temperature on the fryer -- 350 degrees gets the bird crispy and juicy.

It takes about 45 minutes to fry one turkey. One of the keys is to flip the bird. About 30 minutes in, they flip the bird over to get the crispiness on the back. 

The folks at Copeland's have the process down pat. They live by the clock and thermometer so the turkey isn't overcooked and dry, or undercooked.   

The finished product is the perfect Cajun-fried turkey for Thanksgiving.

You can still order a turkey for pickup Tuesday or Wednesday, but all of Copeland's hot turkeys on Thanksgiving are sold out.

If you're not eating it right away, put it in the refrigerator. Copeland's will send you home with instructions on what to do.

The restaurant also offers a buffet from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. It's first come, first served.

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