Yield: 8 Servings
- 10 slices applewood-smoked bacon
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
- 2 tablespoons finely snipped fresh sage or 2 teaspoons dried sage, finely crushed
- One 12 pound fresh or frozen turkey, thawed if frozen
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- 2 sprigs fresh sage
- 1 medium sweet onion, cut in wedges
- Fresh sage leaves
Bacon and Onion Gravy
- 2 cups turkey broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth
- Butter, melted
- 2 slices applewood-smoked bacon, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1 teaspoon snipped fresh sage or 1/4 teaspoon dried sage, crushed
- 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Finely chop 2 slices of the bacon. Stir together the finely chopped bacon, the finely chopped onion, and the finely snipped sage; set aside.
- Remove neck and giblets from turkey; discard. Rinse turkey; pat dry with paper towels. Loosen the skin from the breast meat by sliding your fingers underneath it, being careful not to tear it. Slide your hand as far as you can toward the opposite end of the turkey, separating the skin from the meat. Rub the bacon mixture underneath the skin over the entire breast, working toward the thighs as much as possible.
- Sprinkle inside of body cavity with kosher salt and pepper. Fill cavity with sage sprigs and sweet onion wedges. Pull neck skin to back and fasten with a small skewer. Tuck drumstick securely to tail, if available. If there is not a band of skin, tie drumsticks securely to the tail using 100% cotton kitchen string. Twist wing tips under back. Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Sprinkle turkey with additional salt and pepper. Weave remaining 8 strips of bacon in a lattice pattern over the breast. Tuck additional sage leaves into the lattice. Insert an oven-going meat thermometer into center of inside thigh muscles. The thermometer should not touch bone. Cover loosely with foil.
- Roast for 2 3/4 hours. Remove foil. Roast for 15 to 45 minutes more or until thermometer reaches 175 degrees F. (The juices should run clear and drumsticks should move easily in their sockets.) Remove from oven. Cover turkey with foil; let stand for 15 minutes before carving.
- Transfer turkey to a cutting board. Remove and discard onion and sage from inside turkey. Carve turkey. Serve with Bacon and Onion Gravy.
Bacon and Onion Gravy
- Stir 1 cup broth into pan drippings from roasted turkey in roasting pan, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pan. Pour drippings into a 2-cup glass measure. Skim and reserve fat from drippings. If necessary add enough melted butter to the reserved fat to make 1/4 cup. Add enough broth to the drippings in measuring cup to make 2 cups total liquid.
- In a large saucepan cook 2 slices bacon over medium heat until crisp-cooked. Use a slotted spoon to remove bacon from saucepan and drain on paper towels.
- Reserve 1 tablespoon bacon drippings in saucepan; add 1/4 cup chopped onion and 1 teaspoon sage to the mixture. Cook and stir about 2 minutes or until onion is tender. Carefully add vinegar to skillet and cook until evaporated.
- Add the 1/4 cup fat to the saucepan with the onion mixture. Stir in flour. Cook and stir over medium heat for 1 minute.
- Add drippings mixture all at once to flour mixture in saucepan, stirring until smooth. Cook and stir over medium heat until bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more.
- Stir in crumbled bacon. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
From the Better Homes & Gardens Test Kitchen
Hattie’s comment was “this is the best skin ever.” It had a great bacon flavor.
The sage was subtle, but nice. Bacon/onion/sage combo seemed very Thanksgiving like.
I cooked a smaller bird and only made 2 cups gravy, but for this 14-to 16-pound size you would need more.
The gravy was tasty. One thing I had thought about was adding a little whipping cream to the gravy, so you could try that.
Bacon is hard to finely chop. Could say to freeze bacon in a single layer and then break the frozen bacon and add to food processor. . . .it might chop it up better. TK could try this.
I used Vander Rose Farms bacon.
Per serving: 557 kcal cal., 29 g fat (9 g sat. fat, 6 g polyunsaturated fat, 11 g monounsatured fat), 270 mg chol., 519 mg sodium, 1 g carb., 0 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 73 g pro.
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet