Bacon Bird with Turkey Neck Gravy

By • October 21, 2012 • 61 Comments

425 Save

If you like it, save it!

Save and organize all of the stuff you love in one place.

Got it!

If you like something…

Click the heart, it's called favoriting. Favorite the stuff you like.

Got it!


Author Notes: When we were kids my step mom Jennie made fantastic turkey, wrapped in bacon and roasted to juicy perfection. Jennie is a great cook - following instincts and sense of flavor rather than recipes, and I don't remember her ever making a bad meal. This is my version of her bacon bird - I used a 14 pounder but if you want larger or smaller then just adjust the amounts and times accordingly - this is your bird! aargersi

Food52 Review: WHO: aargersi is a Food52er who you may remember from our Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey contest!
WHAT: A subtly smoky bird that is swathed in sage and bacon before being served with a turkey neck gravy.
HOW: Wrap the turkey up in bacon, then the oven does the work for you. Ours roasted for 3 hours, and we removed it when the thigh meat read 160 on a thermometer.
WHY WE LOVE IT: With bacon and a bevy of herbs -- not to mention the onions and apples inside the bird -- this turkey is anything but one-dimensional in flavor.
A&M

Serves 1 14 lb turkey

The Bird

  • 1 14 pounds turkey
  • 1 pound thick sliced bacon (You won't use the whole thing but when is extra bacon ever a bad thing? I use applewood smoked)
  • 1 granny smith apple
  • 1 largeish yellow onion
  • 8-10 sage leaves
  • 1 leafy sprig of sage
  • several sprigs of marjoram
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 bottle dry white wine
  1. Heat the oven to 325. Remove the neck and giblets. I only use the neck for gravy but if you want to add giblets too I say go for it! Rinse the turkey inside and out. Liberally salt and pepper the inside. Put him on a rack in a turkey pan and tuck the wings behind his head. Or, where his head used to be.
  2. Cut the apple in 4, remove the core, the quarter each quarter. Peel the onion and cut it into similar sized pieces. Put the leafy sprig of sage, the marjoram, ad a few hunks of apple and onion inside the bird. Also hide a bit of apple and onion under the neck skin and tuck it in. Scatter the rest around the pan. Put the neck in the pan too.
  3. Generously pepper the turkey and then salt him too - the bacon adds salt too so don't go too crazy. Arrange the sage leaves across the breast and on each leg (see picture). Now lay strips of bacon all over the turkey so he is encased. I work the long way - you may need to trim some bacon to get him covered (see next picture) - don't forget the legs and wings! Pour the bottle of wine into the pan and pop him in the oven.
  4. You can now mostly relax for about three hours - the bacon is basting for you. Do check now and again and if it's getting too dry add some water to the pan. Once the bacon has cooked completely, it's job is done. Take the turkey out of the oven and remove the bacon. If some of it wants to stick, just leave it. Mostly it should come right off. Remove the neck from the pan and set both aside. Keep the kitchen vultures off the neck - whether or not you let them eat the bacon is up to you. Give the turkey a good basting and put him back in the oven to finish cooking. The common thought is thigh meat needs to be 180 - I stop before that (around 165-170) because it will keep cooking as it rests. My turkey took just under 4 hours. When he is finished cooking and golden brown, take him out and make the gravy while he rests.

The Gravy

  • 1 cooked turkey neck
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh sage
  • 1/2 cup milk (maybe a bit more)
  • 1 cup turkey or chicken stock (maybe a bit more)
  • 2-3 tablespoons brandy (or sherry for a bit of a sweeter gravy)
  • drippings from the bacon bird
  • salt and pepper
  1. Pick the meat off the turkey neck and chop it up. You can also chop some of that crisp bacon if you want to, and if any is left.
  2. Get the drippings from the turkey pan and put them in a separator - I use a baster to make the transfer.
  3. Melt the butter in a sauce pan and whisk in the flour. Cook for a few minutes until it just starts to get a little golden. Whisk in the chopped sage. Now whisk the milk in slowly - it's going to get super thick - don't worry. Start whisking in the broth and brandy, and the gravy will relax again. Now start pouring in the drippings carefully from the separator (try not to get too much of the plain old fat in there - a little is OK) - this is where you add a little, whisk a little, taste a little. Decide if you want more salt and pepper, or maybe a bit more drippings or broth. Get the thickness the way you like it - this is your gravy not mine! Finally - stir in the chopped turkey neck (and giblets and bacon if you want) and stir until warm. That's it! Carve that turkey and serve up!
Jump to Comments (61)

Comments (61) Questions (1)

Default-small
Default-small
Default-small

11 months ago LINDA

I really wanted to try something different this year and can't wait to try this on Thursday! Thanks for the Awesome recipe!

Ozoz_profile

almost 2 years ago Kitchen Butterfly

This was an easy recipe to make - the kids and I gathered round the bird and draped it with bacon. Such fun.

But that wasn't all. In a week of Turkey many things, the left over bacon has served a great purpose: Malta-Maple Bacon Jam. No one wanted to eat the bacon, roasted as it was - it was a tad salty (usually we desalt our bacon by giving it a couple of hot-water soaks). Anyways, Bacon Jam had been on my mind for AGES and so it was.

And is.

Delicious.

See http://www.kitchenbutterfly...

Default-small

almost 2 years ago Esther Gertrude

Really great turkey recipe. It was so nice to not have to baste but the one time.

Default-small

almost 2 years ago VOS

My 15.5# turkey was done in 2.5 hours. After carving the large parts I did return them to the oven in some liquid just for a minute or two for the joints to be fully cooked. Also, I removed the bacon after one hour so it was still usable for other dishes. Other than that, great recipe.

Image

almost 2 years ago JadeTree

We had so much fun with this bird! It was fun to prep; between the bacon wrapping and the bottle-of-wine-pouring, it felt like a holiday indeed. It cooked in about 3.5 hours, almost completely ignored, and the breast was exceptionally moist for the grateful white-meat eaters. Delicious gravy. We used sherry, which is a family tradition, and enjoyed the touch of sweet nuttiness. And it's just as tasty on the sandwich of leftovers, which is a crucial factor. The cooked bacon created two problems, however: it made people swarm the kitchen while we were trying to do the potato/parsnip mash and dressing ,and also one guest overindulged on stolen bacon and regretted a stomach still half full at dinner time. Food52 problems! Thanks for the new turkey for this year's holiday!

036

almost 2 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I love it! A regular turkey party!!!

Stringio

almost 2 years ago tmajor

So excited to be making this bird tomorrow!!!!

4q2a0494-face-shot-650pw

almost 2 years ago PassTheKnife

Just swapped out my turkey recipe for this one!

Ozoz_profile

almost 2 years ago Kitchen Butterfly

Many congratulations - it looks fab!

Logo-fb

almost 2 years ago Waverly

Congratulations, Abbie! This sounds fantastic.

Default-small

almost 2 years ago selena

I must add a comment here in tribute to my father, an italian immigrant. He prepared our turkey like this since I can remember (50's) sans the apple. I use applewood smoked bacon nowadays.

Steve_dunn02

almost 2 years ago Oui, Chef

You go girl! Everything is better when wrapped in bacon....the other other white meat.

Ls_1_profile_logo

almost 2 years ago LocalSavour

WOWZER This looks and sounds amazing! Congratulations on your fine win Abbie!

Sausage2

almost 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

YAY!!!! Congrats Abbie!

Photo-1

almost 2 years ago Meatballs&Milkshakes

Congrats! Sounds fantastic! Almost wish I was in charge of the cooking this Thanksgiving!

Img00019-20100929-0432_1_

almost 2 years ago sexyLAMBCHOPx

Congrats, I would make this as well if I was doing the bird this year!

Bike2

almost 2 years ago Sagegreen

Congrats!!! Well done.

Dscn3274

almost 2 years ago inpatskitchen

Congratulations! EVERYTHING is better with bacon!!

Amycooking

almost 2 years ago AmyW

Congrats! Can't wait to make this.

Spiceroute

almost 2 years ago Madhuja

Congratulations, aargersi! This is such a fabulous recipe!

Img_0001

almost 2 years ago Kukla

Congratulations aargersi!! Love this recipe!

Cakes

almost 2 years ago Bevi

Congrats Abbie!! I am going to love making this with Vermont maple cured bacon!

186003_1004761561_1198459_n

almost 2 years ago dymnyno

Congratulations Abbie!!!! You and Helen sure made this a tough contest. I have you both in my "Food52 Thanksgiving" list. Your recipe for turkey is one of most creative I have ever been about to try. Thank goodness calories, carbs and fat don't count on Thanksgiving!

Massimo's_deck_reflection_10_27_13

almost 2 years ago lapadia

Congratulations! Wow, that is some picture in my mind = a turkey encased in bacon!! :)

Img_1958

almost 2 years ago gingerroot

Congratulations, A!! Can't wait to enjoy this next week.

Img_0472

almost 2 years ago darksideofthespoon

Congratulations!!

New_years_kitchen_hlc_only

almost 2 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Congrats! ;o)

036

almost 2 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you SO much! I am very surprised and happy!!!!

3-bizcard

almost 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Congratulations!! so happy for you, this is truly a great recipe.

Gator_cake

almost 2 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Congratulations, aargersi! Bacon makes everything better!

Img_0836-001_(1)

almost 2 years ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

This looks wonderful, aagersi!!

Henrykiss

almost 2 years ago arielleclementine

congratulations, aargersi!!! sage polka dots + a bacon pashmina = the most deliciously fashionable turkey eva!

036

almost 2 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Yes she definitely has on her party togs :-)

Picture_2

almost 2 years ago NakedBeet

Wow, this is so hard to decide on which one, but this is going in the keeper pile; I love the sound of this recipe!

Img_7818

almost 2 years ago EmilyC

Hooray! I'm SO happy to see this as a finalist, Abbie! LOVE the idea of a self-basting bacon-cloaked bird. Congrats!

Sausage2

almost 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Go Abbie! Everything is better with bacon! :)

Img_0001

almost 2 years ago Kukla

Congratulations aargersi on being a finalist!! A great recipe and a very delicious looking bird, as always!!

Default-small

almost 2 years ago Pegeen

Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

What beautiful recipes. Thank you for sharing them! And Happy Thanksgiving.

New_years_kitchen_hlc_only

almost 2 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Congratulations, aargersi! I've been drooling over this one since you first posted it. Cannot wait to try the bacon + sage combo. Brilliant! ;o) P.S. This is such an unselfish recipe. I always hoard and nibble away at the neck meat (i always roast it), as it's my favorite part of the bird.

036

almost 2 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks AJ! Yours is fantastic too! And seriously - if my mother in law is even in the neighborhood I have to hide the neck from her

Spiceroute

almost 2 years ago Madhuja

If my husband hadn't turned vegetarian this year, I think this would be on my table for Thanksgiving dinner! Congratulations, aargersi!

P1020611

almost 2 years ago mariaraynal

Way to go, Abbie! This sounds spectacular.

Mrs._larkin_370

almost 2 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

If a turkey and a pig had a baby, it would be this beautiful bird, swaddled in bacon! Congrats, aargersi!

Summer_2010_1048

almost 2 years ago Midge

Congrats aargersi! Makes me wish I was in charge of the bird this Thanksgiving. Next year!

Default-small

almost 2 years ago RDS

If I wasn't vegetarian I'd probably eat the whole thing! Hope you win!!

Img_0472

almost 2 years ago darksideofthespoon

I need this in my belly, now - darn Canada for having their thanksgiving in October! This'll be on the Christmas roster for sure... Good luck!

Default-small

almost 2 years ago MarshaC

This looks delicious. I will have to try it out! Congratulations on being a finalist.

Img_1958

almost 2 years ago gingerroot

Yahoo!! So happy this bird is a finalist. Congrats, Abbie!

3-bizcard

almost 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Congratulations A, I tested this recipe and it is divine!! One of the best turkey's I have ever had.

036

almost 2 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you SO much! I am thrilled beyond words!!! Jennie will be too!

Default-small

about 2 years ago zieker

This year I'll be making T-day dinner for 2 (I'm making my younger sister eat at my house for a change) and you can be darn sure my turkey's going to be wearing a thick sweater of bacon this year! — I've always basted my birds in dry vermouth and drank the white wine. :-) Nice one, Abs!

036

about 2 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

:-) A pork pashmina if you will. Buy two bottles, one for you and one for the bird. Well, and one for each sister too - you will need 4 bottles. Ha ha!!!

New_years_kitchen_hlc_only

about 2 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Divine. Utterly divine. Especially the sage-flavored pieces of bacon. Love this! ;o)

036

about 2 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks! yeah - the bacon never survives long enough to make it into the gravy, but if it did I would add it! Our kitchen vultures are - um - vulture-y!!!

Cakes

about 2 years ago Bevi

Woman Alive! This sounds like a delicious and no fuss Bird to me. Kudos to Jennie for the inspiration. She is one very talented lady....

036

about 2 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

She is indeed - she's also an artist - her stuff is here if you want to take a look!
http://jennieriker.com/

Image

about 2 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

This sounds fabulous, but why can I feel my arteries shutting down?

036

about 2 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Don't forget the Lipitor Pie for dessert!!!!

Newliztoqueicon-2

about 2 years ago Lizthechef

This makes me want Thanksgiving to hurry up and get here!

3-bizcard

about 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I just love no baste turkey, wrapped in bacon this has to be so good. I think I will try this with a turkey breast, they always dry out. I bet this would solve that problem.

Dscn3274

about 2 years ago inpatskitchen

I'm with sdebrango..a breast would be perfect!