This past Thanksgiving was my second time hosting the annual family dinner. Last year, I was kind of flying by the seat of my pants. I did a little research on how to roast a turkey, and while last year's bird wasn't awful it also wasn't one that people were talking about when they left our house.
I wanted the Thanksgiving of 2013 to be different. This would be the year that people would be talking about my roast turkey the second they had their first taste... and then after.
By golly, folks. I did it. ;)
Everyone was raving. Not only about how gorgeous it looked, but also over how tender and flavorful, and juicy it was.
It is all in the bacon and butter, my friends.
Bacon and butter.
Maybe not the healthiest of ingredients to combine (I must have been channeling a little Paula Deen when I made this). But when spread out over a 12-14 lb turkey, it really isn't all that bad. ;)
Bacon & Sage Roasted Turkey
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 3-4 hours
- 1 (12 to 14 lb) whole turkey
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter, room temp
- 1/2 bunch of fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 6-8 strips of thick cut bacon (depending on how large the turkey breast is)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and remove the top rack.
In a small bowl, mix the butter until creamy. Add in the sage, salt, and pepper and mix again. Set aside.
Remove the neck and gizzards from the inside of the turkey and discard. Rinse the bird thoroughly inside and out with cold water, pat dry. Sprinkle the cavity and skin liberally with salt and pepper. Using your fingers, gently lift the skin from the breast and legs, & slip pieces of the seasoned sage butter underneath, massaging it in as you go. Rub the the skin of the turkey liberally with the olive oil. Truss the turkey; place it on a rack in a large roasting pan, cover loosely with aluminum foil and put into the oven.
Roast for approximately 2 1/2 hours, basting every hour or so. After about 2 1/2 hours of roasting, remove the aluminum foil and shingle the bacon strips over top of the breast, covering it completely. Return to the oven and and roast uncovered for another hour or so.
The turkey will be done when the inside of the thickest part of the thigh reads 170 degrees with a meat thermometer. (The juices will also run clear when pricked with a knife.)
Allow the turkey to rest for at least 15-20 minutes before carving.
Recipe adapted from THIS ONE from Tyler Florence (Food Network).
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The bacon added a smoky flavor to the turkey breast and kept it extra moist. (And yes, the bacon crisps up really nice while in the oven.) This turkey turned out so tender that the meat was literally just falling off the bone.
Oh yes, my friends....
I have found my go-to holiday roast turkey recipe for years to come.
Are you planning on roasting a turkey for the holidays this year? Will bacon and butter be your ingredients of choice as well? ;)
Trust me.... you will not be sorry.
And neither will your dinner guests!
If you loved this recipe, you might also like my...
(Perfect for leftover turkey!)