Maple Bacon Bourbon Turkey

This is the tenderest turkey I have ever made! Granted, my total for turkeys is only 4. I think it has something to do with the bacon shield not only holding in all the juices, but also dripping its own fat down into it... definitely not low fat. :)

Maple Bacon Bourbon Turkey | before
Maple Bacon Bourbon Turkey | after


  • 4 to 6 cups turkey stock or chicken broth; more if needed
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  •  2 ripe pears, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 4 tbsp. butter cut into 6 pads
  • 1 package of good-quality bacon
  • 1/2 cup real maple syrup
  • 2-3 Tbsp. bourbon; more to taste


  1. Remove the neck and giblets, etc. from the turkey. 
  2. Simmer the turkey neck in the stock or broth for half an hour to give it a meatier flavor; strain out before using the stock.
  3. Rinse the turkey inside and out and pat it dry.
  4. Heat the oven to 350F.
  5. Loosely stuff the front and back cavities of the turkey. 
  6. Put the remaining stuffing in a buttered casserole dish, and cover with foil. 
  7. Add the pads of butter under the skin at the breast, three at each side. 
  8. Put the turkey in a heavy roasting pan, tuck the wings under the back of the turkey, and lay the bacon strips over the breast.
  9. Add 1 cup of stock and the cider to the pan, as well as the pears and a tbsp. of bourbon.
  10. Roast for about 3 hours, basting every 30 minutes and adding more stock if the pan gets dry.
  11. During the last hour of roasting, brush the bird with the maple syrup and a tbsp. of bourbon.
  12. The turkey is done when the juices run clear and the meat is pricked with a fork and the internal temperature of the thigh is 175F, about 3-1/2 to 4 hours total.
  13. Transfer the turkey to a platter; tent it with foil to keep warm while you cook your stuffing, etc.
  14. To make carving easier, remove the bacon first.
  15. To make gravy, pour the juices from the roasting pan, including the pears into a sauce pan. Cook the liquid down over low heat and add a tablespoon of flour at a time while whisking until gravy thickens, about 3 tbsp. Whisk about 5 minutes.
  16.  Season with salt and pepper. Add 1 tbsp. bourbon or more if you like.

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From Charleston, South Carolina to your computer. I hope you enjoy. :)