Friday, November 29, 2013

Bacon and Lemon Herbed Turkey

     Nothing says Thanksgiving like a well-made turkey perfectly carved and served up on a fancy platter. One out of three isn't bad. I can give you well-made. The rest is up to you. I know many people love that crispy golden skin on a turkey. I don't really care about that. For me, the skin is there to help store all sorts of good things to flavor the meat. I've messed around with a couple versions of this type of turkey, but I feel this is the final iteration. I am very pleased. The meat is suspiciously tender and is infused with hints of lemon, bacon and herbs. This, my dear friends, is a winner. As always, any notes are in blue.
Bacon and Lemon Herbed Turkey

  • 1 turkey (we used a 13 pound bird for this recipe)
  • 1 pound thick cut bacon (use whatever kind you want. Applewood smoked, hickory, whatever)
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 2 sticks butter, separated
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs (basil, oregano, thyme, marjoram, rosemary and sage)
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • Uncle Joe's Rub Down
  1. Make sure the bird is defrosted and all the fun stuff is removed from inside. (I'll normally throw those spare parts in the roaster with the bird and serve them to the dogs later. I'll save the neck to throw at the unruly neighborhood children)
  2. Take your hand and slide it between the skin and the meat of the bird. Gently work your hand around to separate the skin from the meat the best you can without tearing the skin. (This whole process feels genuinely wrong. I always apologize to the bird when I do this)
    I know we've only just met...
  3. Mix one of the sticks of butter with the herbs until the herbs are evenly distributed through the butter. Start grabbing handfuls and get your hand back in under the skin. Spread the butter around under the skin the best you can. 
  4. Gently lift the skin and lay the lemon slices between the meat and skin. Do the same with a quarter pound of the bacon (It's going to get crowded under the skin. Don't worry too much about having it be neat and tidy under there. The important part is to get it evenly distributed without tearing the skin)
  5. Take the other stick of butter and the onion and put it in the cavity of the bird.
  6. Shake a coat of Uncle Joe's Rub Down over the skin of the bird (feel free to use any rub or seasoning mix you like. I'm just partial to this stuff)
  7. Take the remaining bacon and use it to cover the bird (I absolutely can't be bothered to make a bacon weave)
    See? No weave and it looks fine. I can't be bothered with frippery.
  8. Load the bird into a roaster and cover it with a tinfoil tent (if you have time, feel free to make yourself a hat to block government mind-control rays. It never hurts to be careful)
  9. Load the bird into an oven preheated to 325F. Cook until a meat thermometer reads an internal temperature of 165F (This took about 4 hours for our bird. It may take more or less time depending on your stove, size of the bird, altitude, relative humidity, astrological sign, etc. You could always use the old trick of seeing if the leg just pulls off. That usually means the turkey is done. Or has leprosy. It's not an exact science)
  10. Once the bird has reached the required temperature, take it out and let it rest for 15 minutes or so (You've already violated it quite a bit. Give it a moment or two before you attack it with the knife. This is a good time to make sure everything else for your meal is done, or to have a cocktail or six)
  11. Take the bacon off the top of the bird and set it aside for later snacking. Pull the skin off the bird and clear off the remaining bacon and lemon from under the skin. (Do not be alarmed when you see that you do not have a golden, crisp skin. It's going to be pretty squishy. Just pull it off. You want to get at the now tender and delicious meat).
  12. Inexpertly maul the turkey and throw the meat on a platter. Eat until sleepy.
Good times!

1 comment:

  1. Wow - love the idea of a bacon-wrapped turkey. Thanks for stopping by our Happy Holidays Link Party - be sure to join us again this week (beginning on Saturday at 7 pm ET) and every week through the holidays.