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Author Notes: This turkey is a mashup of my two favorite ways to make turkey: bacon wrapped and spatchcocked. The bacon wrapping was inspired by a recipe by Perre Coleman Magness of The Runaway Spoon and another bacon wrapped turkey recipe by Serious Eats. Bacon wrapping makes the turkey beautiful, moist and flavorful without brining or basting. Spatchcocking the turkey helps it to cook evenly and allows you to roast the entire bird in just 80 minutes. Hands down, this is the best, easiest, quickest, most eye-catching turkey I have ever made.
Note: A 12-14 pound turkey is about the maximum size you can put on a baking sheet. If you use a larger bird you can split the turkey into two pieces, but I like the presentation of a whole bird better. Also the higher the rim on the sheet pan the better to prevent spills. —Kim Pawell
- 4 Cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 handful Mixed fresh herbs (sage, rosemary, thyme, parsley, oregano)
- 3 pounds Thick cut bacon
- 12-14 pounds Turkey, spatchcocked
- 3 Carrots, peeled and cut into 3" pieces
- 2 Leeks, cleaned and cut into 3" pieces
- 2 Apples, unpeeled and cut into 8 slices
- 3/4 - 1 cups Chicken stock
- Heat oven to 400 degrees. Put the garlic in a food processor and whirl to finely chop. Add herbs and pulse to chop. Add 1/2 pound of bacon and butter and pulse until you have a smooth bacon herb butter.
- Prepare turkey by running your hands between the skin and the flesh to separate the skin from the flesh. Separate the skin for as much of the turkey as possible, including the breasts and the drumsticks. Rub the bacon, herb butter all over the turkey and in between the skin and the flesh, giving the turkey a good bacon-butter massage. Lay three strips of bacon between the breast and the skin. Season with pepper.
- Spread the vegetables and the apples over a large rimmed sheet pan and lay the turkey skin-side up on the pan. Starting with the neck-side of the turkey, begin weaving a turkey jacket by laying one long strip horizontally across the width of the turkey and then weaving a strip vertically. Alternate between horizontal and vertical strips, until the body of the turkey is covered in a woven jacket. Then continue weaving the jacket to include both drum sticks and the wings. Trim any excess lengths of bacon.
- Pour the stock into the bottom of the pan. Carefully put the pan in the oven and roast for about 80 minutes, frequently checking to see the bacon is not over cooking. If the bacon starts to become too dark, remove from the oven and cover with a sheet of foil and return it to the oven to continue roasting. The turkey is done when the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 30 minutes before slicing. the internal temperature will rise to 160 to 165 degrees while the turkey rests. Always use a thermometer to safely and consistently determine when your turkey is done.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Family's Best Thanksgiving Recipe