Once a year, most of the country makes a Turkey – Thanksgiving Turkey.
Some brine it, deep fry it, smoke it, or just bake it in an oven. But here is my favorite Thanksgiving Turkey recipe – simple yet delicious! A “maple glazed “bacon-wrapped” Turkey!
It is a terrific way to make your bird, and it’s simple!
First, take your thawed Turkey…we used a 14-pounder, which worked well….clean it out – setting aside the gizzard and neck for gravy stock of course! Pat your Turkey dry, salt and pepper the inside, and then slather – and I mean SLATHER – the whole bird in butter…
I use a variety of fresh herbs like Rosemary and Sage, chopped up and integrated into the butter as I rub it on… you can stuff some butter underneath the skin as well, so it bastes the bird as it roasts…and then you want to grab your best friend in the world…BACON!
Decorate your Turkey with bacon!
Be as creative as you want in layering the bacon across the turkey, some people even like to “braid” theirs…it will stick nicely to the butter, is easy to maneuver around the drumsticks and wings, and looks great when you are finished!
Of course, I didn’t get a shot of the actual “maple glazing” – but you know what to do: just brush maple syrup over the bacon, painting it nicely for a great flavor and color!
For me, Turkeys are incredibly easy to make. You can always find great recipes and cooking guidelines online and in a wide variety of cookbooks and magazines, but I cooked my 14-pounder for 3 -3 ½ hours at 325 degrees.
You will use a thermometer to check the internal temperature, and you can tent it with aluminum foil or a brown paper bag if you want to avoid too much color…once at the proper temperature, take it out!
I let the bird rest for 20-30 minutes when done.
After that, all you need to do is carve and serve – I add a couple of slices of the crispy bacon along with the side for extra flavor.
Prepared, tried, and tested John Rieber
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