I fry our Thanksgiving Turkey every year and usually do it in high quality Canola Oil (yes I know quality and Canola should not be in the same sentence) however I would like to do it in Duck and/or Pork fat. I know this stuff is usually pretty expensive and if I keep it below 350 degrees can strain the oil and reuse it. Is there anyplace to get some good duck or pork fat in bulk for cheap?
I lattice my Thanksgiving Turkey with bacon... the REALLY thick kind. I found amazing thick cut bacon at Whole Foods and Sunflowers Market (though the one at Sunflowers market had nitrates) and you can even ask at the deli counter if they have a slab, and ask them to cut some for you.
Weave it over the top. It's AMAZING.
Granted, after everything is cooked, the bacon is totally trashed and not edible, but the turkey is wonderfully moist and flavorful. I remove the bacona bout 15 minutes prior to reverything being done and toss the bird back in the oven, then broil on "Lo" for 5 minutes to brown the pretty little guy up.
Turkey fryers came into vogue precisely because of cheap industrial frying fats. It can't possibly be worth it to use and then discard all that healthy fat. Lard has a smoke point of 375F so you'd possibly be OK to reuse but that would be a vast quantity of fat. Most turkey fryers require 12 quarts (48 cups) of fat. At 1849 calories/cup = almost 100K calories to potentially re-use, so if it's gone bad you'll possibly do some damage.
I can get pastured lard for $5/qt, or supermarket lard for $3/qt. So it's a $40-60 investment. I'd rather invest $50 in a pastured turkey and do the bacon fat lattice myself!
Roasting ducks throw off an enormous quantity of fat. If you got into duck between now and Thanksgiving, you would certainly be able to reserve enough fat yourself to fry a turkey in.
Other than that, I'd consult your butcher. I know that Mexican grocery stores often sell good lard for low prices, too. Alternately, you could look for specialty suppliers on chowhound.com, which is great for sourcing ingredients.