Sunday, November 28, 2010

No Fail Turkey

My husband and I have been hosting Thanksgiving for seven years now! We've been doing this since long before we were married, so each year we seem to have figured a little more out about this whole hosting a giant meal thing. Sometimes we change up appetizers, sides, and desserts; but we NEVER mess with the turkey. I have found a no-fail turkey, and I think we'd be stupid not to do it every year.

The idea isn't my own, in fact, it was something my dad talked about when I was little. Every year my mom made an incredible turkey, and I recall once my dad mentioning this method. My mom had her own way of roasting the turkey, so she never took the suggestion. I can't blame her, because once you find "your way," there's really no going back. I mean, who wants to try something totally new and have it fail on them with a table full of hungry people?

For those of you who would like to try something new or have never cooked a turkey before, you're going to want to give this a go.

No Fail Turkey

  • Turkey (any size)
  • Thick-cut bacon
  • Veg/Herbs or Stuffing

Pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees. First, rinse out your turkey - make sure to take the neck and bag of guts out before cooking. Pat the turkey down with a paper towel, and place it in your roasting pan. If you are doing stuffing, go ahead and stuff him now. If you're not, roughly chop up some veg or herbs, and put that in the cavity. An onion, some carrots, and celery work well. This keeps the turkey moist from the inside out.

Now the fun part. Lay your bacon on top of your turkey. As you can see, I don't use any particular type of pattern, I just lay it on there. I also don't season the skin of the turkey. I've found that the bacon provides enough saltiness that seasoning is not necessary.

Make a little tent-like structure out of foil and place that on top of your pan. You don't want the foil touching the turkey - it's just a loose tent, not a lock-down on the poor little guy.

Put that bad boy in the oven, the time will vary depending on the size of your bird. So Google that ahead of time so you give yourself adequate time to get everything done. About 20 minutes before the turkey is done, take off the foil. This will brown everything up really nice like.

When it's all done, take it out, and let it rest a bit because that mo-fo is going to be HOT! When the turkey has cooled down a little bit, start pulling off the bacon. I tend to put the bacon on a plate to the side. What doesn't get eaten by the vultures standing around the turkey gets crumbled and put on top of my mashed potatoes.

Carve up your bird, and enjoy!

This recipe has NEVER failed me. The turkey comes out oh-so-moist and good - even the breast meat! Did you notice that part in the recipe about basting? Well, you shouldn't have because it's not in there. The bacon fat starts to render and bastes the turkey through the whole process, so you don't ever need to open the oven. The smell is incredible, and the bacon fat that mixes in with the turkey juices creates a great flavor in the stuffing and some amazing gravy. Yeah, you're going to want to make pan gravy from these drippings.

Yes, this isn't a very timely post since Thanksgiving is over, but you can always bookmark it for next year. Better yet, buy a turkey for cheap since the grocery stores are getting rid of them, throw it in your freezer, and give it a go when you're craving turkey again. Oh, and there's always Christmas...


  1. Want. Now.


    What size do you usually buy for all your peeps?

  2. Haha - yeah, it's kind of amazing. We had 8 people for dinner, and we had a 20 lb turkey. I think it took 5 hours to cook. It was WAY too much, but we do leftovers like crazy.