I saw a bacon-wrapped bird popping up on Pinterest and Facebook around Thanksgiving and I finally decided to give it a try. Christmas week I made this Bacon-Wrapped Turkey and I’m finally ready to share it with ya. And I bet you’ll find it’s easier than you may expect.
Oh! plus I’ve got details about another Pigskin Paleo event happening this week. :)
My sister Amanda and her boyfriend Jake came in from Missoula to visit for Christmas. They were only in town for a couple days so one of those nights we planned dinner at our house. I decided to serve a one dish meal with one additional side. A couple days prior I spent several hours in the kitchen preparing a tapas Christmas dinner so I needed this dinner to be less labor intensive and of course satiating.
I planned on making a whole chicken but when I went to the store there were only chicken legs, wings, etc. to be found…no whole birds. So my choices were either a turkey breast or a whole turkey. The turkey breast didn’t look large enough to feed all 7 of us and I had never made a turkey before so I figured, why not give it a try. Of course, I couldn’t just make any old turkey. After seeing the bacon wrapped turkey making it’s rounds, I decided it was finally time for me to take a stab at it.
Once I decided I’d be making turkey I wanted to brine the bird but after cooking for 6.5 hours on Christmas day, having a day off and then making this meal the following day that would have required me to think much too hard about making meals for three days straight and I decided to take the day off in between. That’s when I decided bacon would be the answer. Bacon is always the answer. ;)
Growing up I remember the turkey roasting for hours and hours on Thanksgiving day until it was finally ready to eat for dinner in the early evening. However after doing a bit of research I realized it didn’t need to take me all day to make the turkey AND I could use my oven instead of an individual roasting pan.
The turkey I picked up was 13.5 pounds and according to my trusty side kick (the internet) that meant it only needed to cook for 3 hours. SCORE!
First Step: Thaw the Turkey
Be sure to let your turkey completely thaw before cooking. If it was frozen through when you bought it, the turkey will thaw within a few days in the fridge, approximately 24 hours for every five pounds of turkey. For quicker thawing, place the turkey in a cold water bath and change the water every 30 minutes until it’s thawed. To answer all your turkey roasting questions, refer to this great resource.
Will you be in the area this Thursday afternoon?
I’ll be hanging out with the cool folks over at Chiro One Wellness Center in Schaumburg this week answering all your deep, dark and burning questions about Paleo. I’ll have some Strawberry Granola Bars and Pesto Zucchini available to taste along with copies of Pigskin Paleo. If you’re in the area come stop by, say hey, talk shop and of course check out the Chiro office!
All the Need-To-Know Details:
- Who: Anyone! Especially if you’re interested in learning more about Paleo cuisine, want to pick up a copy of Pigskin Paleo or just get your own copy personalized
- What: A Free Pigskin Paleo event coordinated with Chiro One Wellness Center
- When: Thursday, February 7th from 3pm-6pm
- Where: 160C S. Roselle Rd. Schaumburg, IL 60193
- Why: Why not? Who doesn’t love to eat free and homemade, Paleo food? :)
Bacon Wrapped Turkey
- An hour before roasting, pull the turkey out of the refrigerator.
- Remove the packaging and the bag of giblets from inside and set aside. (I'll have a recipe soon using turkey giblets. Just promise you won't throw them away, that's good stuff.)
- Elevate the turkey on a drying rack in a pyrex dish and let it sit. (Or if you have a roasting rack, use that.)
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Chop onion in large chunks and either quarter, halve or leave the garlic cloves whole.
- Stuff the onion/garlic mixture in the turkey and seal it with a toothpick or two or three.
- Wrap turkey with individual pieces of bacon, making sure to wrap legs, wings and overlap pieces so every inch of the bird is covered.
- Pour broth or water into base of baking dish.
- Put turkey in the oven, uncovered, and lower the heat to 350°F.
- Rule of thumb is to plan cooking for 13-minutes-per-pound and every 45 minutes baste the turkey by scooping the juices with a spoon and drizzling the juices all over the bird. Watch each time you baste the turkey to see if you'll need to cover the legs, wings and top with foil so it doesn't burn. I covered mine in the second to last round of basting.
- To make sure the turkey is fully cooked, check the breast, outer and inner thigh and make sure that in each location the meat is at least 165°F.
- Transfer the turkey to a serving tray and let it rest 30 minutes before carving and serving.
- Remove the onion and garlic stuffing and serve side by side with your carved bacon-wrapped turkey.
- Enjoy! :)