Basket or not?
Yep, done it many times. In recent years have switched to using a basket only. Just for the reason you stated, laying the bird down uses much less peanut oil. And I normally use turkey breast, I like the 9 pound size, some/ most of the time the turkey breast come split and it is hard to keep them standing on the rod. I have never been able to tell any difference in laying them down and standing them up and have fried over 100, I just love fried turkey and the events that I cater do also.
Just my 2c
Low and Slow thats sssSMOKING !!!