Our Bacon Wrapped Thanksgiving Turkey

20131128-231015.jpg We spend Thanksgiving at the home of my husband’s aunt and uncle and always enjoy a wonderful meal, but we also usually cook our own bird and some sides so we have leftovers and turkey sandwiches the next day.

When we filled our shopping cart at the grocery store with ingredients yesterday I noticed an awful lot of bacon had made its way into the cart. We love bacon, but we don’t usually buy so much at once. That’s when my husband revealed his Pinterest find – wrapping your turkey in bacon – and I was immediately onboard! All I could think was how brilliant this was!

Ingredients
• 2 pounds of bacon (we used slab
bacon)
• 1 turkey
• 1 turkey oven roasting bag
• poultry seasoning
• stuffing (whatever kind you prefer)
• 1/2 stick of butter (optional)

Directions

1. Prep your turkey so it is ready to be stuffed and cooked (i.e. thaw, if using a frozen bird; remove turkey gizzard, etc from the turkey cavity; rinse bird and pat dry with paper towels).

2. Spread out foil on a flat surface and create a bacon lattice to drape over the top of your turkey.

20131128-230734.jpg This lattice was made from about 1 1/2 pounds of slab bacon.
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3. Prep your stuffing as you prefer. We make a sausage stuffing made with chicken stock, Stovetop Turkey stuffing, and add browned Jimmy Dean regular pork sausage. Gently fold in pats of butter into the cooked stuffing and then allow it to cool enough so you can handle it.

4. Put the turkey in an oven roaster bag in your roasting pan (we use foil roasting pans for easy clean up). The roasting bag keeps the turkey very moist, and it prevents the bacon from splattering inside your oven.

5. Fill the turkey cavity with stuffing and sparingly sprinkle some poultry seasoning evenly over the top of the turkey.
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6. Gently drape the bacon lattice over the top of the turkey.

TIPS:
• Locate the pop-up timer before transferring the bacon lattice.

• Transferring the bacon lattice is tricky. Folding the lattice in half (top to bottom) made it easier to move it from the table to the bird. Once the lattice is on top of the bird, unfold and gently move to position so it is centered. 20131128-230910.jpg
7. Wrap the turkey legs (and wings if you choose) with pieces of bacon. We don’t eat much of the wings or legs so we didn’t entirely wrap them. 20131128-230919.jpg
8. Cook your turkey low and slow. We cooked ours at 200 degrees for about 5 1/2 hours.

CAUTION: If you cook the turkey at over 325 degrees the bacon will splatter everywhere and could be a fire hazard.

TIP: Not sure how long to cook your turkey for? Read more here on my recent post to help you figure out cooking time.

* Don’t forget to baste the turkey every few hours. *
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20131128-230957.jpg How does the bacon wrapped turkey taste? Bacon lovers, it’s everything you hope it will be. It’s “bacon bliss,” as my friend T called it, and now the bird has a name – Bacon Bliss Bird! As the bacon renders down, the bacon fat keeps the turkey and stuffing moist and it adds a hint of bacon flavor to the meat and the stuffing. I was pleasantly surprised with the subtle yet noticeably different flavor the turkey and stuffing has and how juicy the meat is. 20131128-231022.jpg A big thank you to my husband for not only finding the recipe, but also for doing most of the work making this flavorful and unique turkey!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

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