Timber 2 Table - Phillip Culpepper's Pickle-Brined, Ranch-Fried Turkey

Fry up your tom using this savory twist for a dish everyone will love

Phillip Culpepper's Pickle-Brined, Ranch-Fried Turkey

30 Min

Prep Time

30 Min

Cook Time





Realtree's Phillip Culpepper knows turkeys, both from a hunting standpoint and an eating standpoint. So when he says this recipe for pickle-brined, ranch-fried wild turkey is one of his favorite ways to cook up a spring bird, I listen. Give it a try. It might become one of your favorites as well.

Fresh turkey meat ready for the fryer. (Phillip Culpepper photo.)


Breast from one side of a wild turkey gobbler, cut into bite-sized pieces

One 16-ounce bottle of your favorite Buttermilk Ranch salad dressing

One cup, more or less, dill pickle juice (Phillip likes a lot of pickle flavor; he says to start with a cup and adjust up or down from there the next time you make the recipe)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon lemon pepper

1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning blend

1 teaspoon salt

Cooking Instructions

Start by soaking the turkey breast, refrigerated, in saltwater overnight up to 24 hours (half cup of salt dissolved in two quarts of water). Rinse the turkey and drain it well.

Culpepper getting gloved up to mix his turkey marinade.

In a large bowl, combine the turkey, ranch dressing and pickle juice, and marinate 2 to 6 hours in the refrigerator.

Add the dill pickle juice to taste.

Mix the flour, salt, pepper, lemon pepper and Cajun seasoning.

Toss the marinated turkey in the seasoned flour until it is well-coated. Deep-fry in 350-degree vegetable or peanut oil for 6 to 10 minutes until golden brown and just cooked through. Fry the turkey in small batches so that you don't overcrowd the oil.