This year Ben and I hosted Thanksgiving for our friends this year. I’m a no fuss type of cook, so I employed my mother’s fool-proof method of cooking a juicy flavorful turkey without basting.
Bacon-covered turkey. We cover the turkey in bacon, so the rendered fat off the bacon continually bastes the turkey and gives it a beautiful flavor. You end up with a beautiful juicy turkey with very little work.
First we trimmed the excess fat and skin off our 20+lb bird. Then I liberally rubbed the turkey in kosher salt (regular salt is fine too and that’s what my mother uses). My mother chooses to rub the curry power directly onto the turkey, but I made curry butter first. I softened some butter and mixed curry powder into it. Then I rubbed the curry butter on the turkey meat under the skin. I also rubbed some curry powder on the skin as well.
Next I made little slits all over the turkey and shoves a clove of garlic (or a part of a clove if it was a really large clove) into each slit. I cut up some large pieces of celery and some onion. Then along with some more garlic cloves, I threw those into the cavity of the turkey.
Next was the fun part of covering the turkey in bacon. I used about 2.5 lbs to cover a turkey this large. Because the bacon shrinks quite a bit as it is cooking, it’s important to have a double layer of bacon on the bird. Make sure that you cover every inch of the bird because the bacon does shrink a lot. Because you’re not basting the turkey, if there’s a portion of the turkey that’s uncovered, it’ll burn.
Place the turkey in an oven that’s been pre-heated to 325 F. About a half hour before the turkey has finished cooking, pull off the crisp bacon and put the turkey back in so that the skin will crisp up.
You end up with a beautifully roasted bird with juicy breast meat that’s been delicately flavored with bacon. The bacon flavor is subtle, but absolutely delicious. Plus you have lots and lots of crispy bacon for other things (or to eat as a snack while waiting for dinner, which is what we ended up doing).
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We did. It was a lovely and fun day with friends and our loved ones with tons of food. We’re still enjoying the leftovers, which we’re not at all sick of because Thanksgiving is our favorite holiday of the year.