This recipe for Maple Bacon Roasted Turkey is so easy to make, you’ll spend less time in the kitchen this Thanksgiving and more time with your guests.
I’m all about easy; especially when it comes to cooking meals for the holidays. I like to prepare most menu items before my guests arrive so that I have plenty of time to spend with them instead of being tied to the kitchen all day.
This recipe for Maple Bacon Roasted Turkey is the perfect example of one of those recipes that take minutes to prepare; then let the oven do the rest of the work.
If this is your first time making Thanksgiving dinner and you’re not sure what size turkey to buy, how to thaw (if frozen), how long to cook, or how to carve; then check out my post from last year on How to Roast a Thanksgiving Turkey.
I laid it out in easy to follow, step-by-step instructions. It’s basically foolproof (or so I hope!). For this recipe, we’re only going to need a few ingredients: turkey, maple syrup, fresh sage, bacon and chicken stock.
As some of you may or may not know, I developed a sensitivity to bacon years ago and am now allergic to nitrates and get horrible migraines. However, I’ve recently tried the uncured bacon and lower sodium varieties and they seem to be ok as long as I only eat one or two pieces.
I was trying to come up with a new Thanksgiving turkey recipe and remembered that my aunt always used to wrap her turkey with bacon before putting it into the oven.
It was always so good and the fat from the bacon seeped into the bird and kept it super moist. Of course, as kids, my cousins and I would sneak into the kitchen while it was cooling and pick off all of the bacon before my uncle had a chance to carve the bird.
We’d get yelled at every year; then the adults would wind up coming in and picking too. See, even they knew a good thing when they tasted it.
How do you prepare Maple Bacon Roasted Turkey?
Fast forward 30 years and I decided to make this years turkey recipe with bacon but also wanted it to have a maple flavor. I purchased a 9lb. frozen turkey defrosted it for a few days; then when I was ready to make it I poured maple syrup over the top, seasoned with fresh chopped sage, salt, and pepper; then wrapped the turkey in bacon.
I then placed the turkey in a large roasting pan and added some chicken broth and maple syrup to the bottom (to use to baste the turkey during cooking). Prepare to cook your turkey approximately 20 minutes per pound; basting your turkey periodically throughout cooking time.
How can you tell when your turkey is done?
Your turkey is done when the internal temperature is 180° F in the thigh and 165° F in breast or stuffing (using a meat thermometer). Allow to rest for 15 minutes after removing your turkey from the oven to allow for the juices to settle before carving; then make a gravy using the drippings.
This Maple Bacon Roasted Turkey was incredibly moist and delicious and just like when I was a kid, my husband and daughter came over to start to pick the bacon off before I got to carve it.
That is until I had to yell at them to stop so that I could take a picture of it; then I let them at it. The 9lb. turkey was too big for just the three of us so I made some Turkey Orzo Soup and Cranberry Pecan Turkey Salad with the leftovers. ~Enjoy!
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Maple Bacon Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Place your turkey on the rack of a roasting pan breast side up. If not already done, tie the legs together with kitchen string. If you don't have a rack, lay some vegetables like carrots or celery underneath the turkey so that the turkey is elevated.
- Combine 1/2 cup of the maple syrup and the sage; then brush it all over the turkey.
- Cover the turkey with the strips of bacon until it's covered.
- Pour the chicken stock and the remaining 1/2 cup of maple syrup into the bottom of your roasting pan and place in the oven.
- Allow your turkey to cook for approximately 20 minutes per pound; basting periodically throughout. Your turkey is done when the internal temperature is 180° F in thigh and 165° F in breast or stuffing.
- Remove turkey from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before carving.
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What is your favorite way to prepare Thanksgiving turkey: Roast, Grill, Fry or Smoke?