|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
- Remove the neck and giblets, etc. from the turkey.
- 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.
- Rinse the turkey inside and out and pat it dry.
- Heat the oven to 350F.
- Loosely stuff the front and back cavities of the turkey.
- Put the remaining stuffing in a buttered casserole dish, and cover with foil.
- Add the pads of butter under the skin at the breast, three at each side.
- 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.
- Add 1 cup of stock and the cider to the pan, as well as the pears and a tbsp. of bourbon.
- Roast for about 3 hours, basting every 30 minutes and adding more stock if the pan gets dry.
- During the last hour of roasting, brush the bird with the maple syrup and a tbsp. of bourbon.
- 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.
- Transfer the turkey to a platter; tent it with foil to keep warm while you cook your stuffing, etc.
- To make carving easier, remove the bacon first.
- 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.
- Season with salt and pepper. Add 1 tbsp. bourbon or more if you like.