Genius can strike at any moment. For me, such occurrences are rare, but luck struck a couple weeks ago while a bunch of us were standing around a tailgate, drinking a few beers and plucking chicken wings from a pot of hot oil. My friend Klint showed up with a log of venison summer sausage and, like a carny at the Texas State Fair, I immediately asked, “I wonder what that would taste like fried?”
Turns out, deep-fried deer sausage is pretty good. If you’re mom ever made you fried bologna when you were a kid, the taste will be familiar. This is like a man-sized version of that boyhood snack–the thin, crispy bologna swapped for a thick and tangy chunk of summer sausage underneath a crunchy shell. Phil, manning the fryer, was using a prepared coating mix from [Cabela’s](http://www.cabelas.com/product/Home-Cabin/ Food-Processing/Fish-Seafood-Preparation|/pc/104798880/c/104723280/sc/121647780/ Cabelas-Coating-Mixes/847425.uts?destination=%2Fcatalog%2Fbrowse%2Fhome- cabin-food-processing-fish-seafood-preparation%2F_%2FN-1107012%2FNs- CATEGORY_SEQ_121647780%3FWTz_l%3DSBC%253BMMcat104798880%253Bcat10 4723280&WTz_l=SBC%3BMMcat104798880%3Bcat104723280%3Bcat121647780) for his chicken, so that’s what the sausage got dredged in. I bet it would be pretty darn good batter-dipped as well. Truthfully, it’s a combination of sausage and frying, so I think it would be good just about any way you cooked it.
Deep-Fried Summer Sausage
-Peanut or canola oil
-3 pounds summer sausage
-2 cups prepared coating mix
-2 cups flour
-1 tsp. paprika
-1 tsp. garlic power
-1 tsp. cayenne
-1 tsp. black pepper
In a Dutch oven or heavy pot, add peanut or canola oil to a depth of at least 2 inches. Preheat over high heat.
Meanwhile, pour coating mix into a shallow dish. (Alternatively, whisk flour and next four ingredients together in a shallow dish.)
Cut summer sausage crosswise into ¼-inch thick slices. Toss slices with coating mix.
When oil temperature hits 350 degrees, add summer sausage to the oil, being sure not to crowd the pot. Fry 1 to 3 minutes, until breaking is golden-brown. Transfer to paper-towel line plate and, when cool, enjoy.