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Maple-Glazed Turkey with Bacon and Sage Butter + Thanksgiving Recipe Blog Hop!

Juicy, tender turkey is slathered with sage-infused butter, shingled with crispy bacon, and glazed with maple syrup in what just might be the best Thanksgiving turkey you’ve ever tasted!

Maple-Glazed Turkey with Bacon and Sage Butter ~ tender, juicy, and shingled with bacon, this is the BEST Thanksgiving turkey recipe you'll ever try! | FiveHeartHome.com

Today I’m setting out to prove that bacon indeed makes everything better! And not only am I sharing this amazing Maple-Glazed Turkey with Bacon & Sage Butter recipe, but a couple dozen of your favorite food bloggers are sharing their favorite recipes as well for a full Thanksgiving menu of delicious recipes, from main dishes to sides to desserts…and don’t forget the pie!

Thanksgiving Recipes Blog Hop ~ 25+ Holiday Main Dishes, Side Dishes, and Desserts from Your Favorite Bloggers! | FiveHeartHome.com

So after you read all about this mouth-watering turkey, be sure to scroll down and check out our Thanksgiving Menu Blog Hop, which aims to provide you with ideas for every Turkey Day course!

Now. Back to this Maple-Glazed Turkey with Bacon & Sage Butter. Doesn’t the name just say it all?! This star of the Thanksgiving table is slathered with sage-flecked butter and glazed with pure maple syrup as it cooks. Then, about an hour before it’s done, the top of the bird is shingled with salty bacon and brushed with more syrup for good measure. The final result is moist, juicy, tender turkey with an undertone of sage and bacon, a sweet maple glaze that filters into the gravy, and bonus crispy bacon strips, over which everyone at the table will be fighting.

Maple-Glazed Turkey with Bacon and Sage Butter ~ tender, juicy, and shingled with bacon, this is the BEST Thanksgiving turkey recipe you'll ever try! | FiveHeartHome.com

I’ve made this recipe both brined and unbrined and it turns out beautifully either way. You typically can’t beat the over-the-top juiciness of a brined turkey, so I would recommend it if you don’t mind the extra step and time required. Just be sure to use a basic brine that doesn’t incorporate too many flavors, because you certainly don’t want to overshadow the yummy sage/bacon/maple thing going on here. However, if you don’t care to brine your turkey, this recipe will still yield a scrumptious bird, as is. Massaging the sage butter under the skin of the turkey, keeping it glazed with maple syrup, and then letting the bacon fat drip down over the whole shebang pretty much mean that this bird has no choice but to turn out juicy! Just don’t overcook it, mkay? πŸ˜‰

Speaking of overcooking, it’s totally normal for certain parts of your turkey to brown faster than others, which is why it’s important to monitor its color each time you take it out of the oven to glaze it. After awhile, the breast of my turkey got to be a nice golden brown while the rest of the turkey was still looking rather pale. So I simply covered the brown parts with a piece of foil and proceeded with the cooking. The exposed skin continued to deepen in color without the turkey breast becoming burnt. Then, when it was time to lay the bacon on top, it happened to perfectly cover the portion of the turkey that was already nicely browned, while the rest of the turkey continued to darken as the bacon cooked. And if your turkey has not reached the target temperature by the time the bacon is cooked and the entire bird is golden brown, it’s time to tent the whole thing with foil while the interior continues cooking (and rising in temperature) for a bit longer.

Maple-Glazed Turkey with Bacon and Sage Butter ~ tender, juicy, and shingled with bacon, this is the BEST Thanksgiving turkey recipe you'll ever try! | FiveHeartHome.com

So can I share a little secret with you? This turkey is based on a Tyler Florence recipe that was the first turkey I ever cooked about ten years ago. And guess what? It was so darn good that I’ve never cooked turkey another way since! Yes, friends, I’ve been making this turkey recipe — and only this turkey recipe — for a full decade. Now you might be wondering how I can claim it to be the best if it’s the only turkey recipe I’ve ever made? Well, just because I haven’t prepared turkeys by other recipes doesn’t mean that I haven’t eaten plenty of them! Quite simply, this turkey trumps every turkey I’ve ever had, cooked by anyone…and I’ve eaten plenty of turkey over the years. I know how fabulous this recipe turns out every year, so I’m going to stick with it.

Perhaps the best part of this turkey is the gravy…because, well, it’s not just regular gravy. It’s gravy made with pan juices that include melted sage butter and bacon drippings and, most importantly, maple syrup. That’s right…this gravy has a whole savory-sweet thing going on that is just indescribablyΒ (though I’m trying) good. And pour it on top of a mound of Garlic & Herb Stuffing? Well, I’d be tempted to have double servings of that and skip the pie. Okay, not really…I don’t skip pie. But rest assured that this gravy is darn tasty.

Maple-Glazed Turkey with Bacon and Sage Butter ~ tender, juicy, and shingled with bacon, this is the BEST Thanksgiving turkey recipe you'll ever try! | FiveHeartHome.com And have I mentioned how easy this turkey is to make? I know that the idea of cooking a whole turkey can be a little intimidating, but there’s nothing to this preparation. Seriously. Let me break it down for you, and it really is this basic

~Remove bag of giblets and neck from thawed turkey; put in a roasting pan.
~Season turkey with salt & pepper, inside & out.
~Loosen skin and spread sage butter underneath.
~Glaze entire turkey with maple syrup.
~Bake for a couple of hours, basting with additional syrup every 30 minutes.
~Arrange raw strips of bacon on top of turkey; glaze again.
~Bake for about one more hour or until turkey reaches an internal temperature of 165Β°F.
~Remove turkey from oven, tent with foil, allow to rest, carve, and enjoy!

Maple-Glazed Turkey with Bacon and Sage Butter ~ tender, juicy, and shingled with bacon, this is the BEST Thanksgiving turkey recipe you'll ever try! | FiveHeartHome.com

Is that simple or what? Yes, there is a time commitment involved. Yes, you have to be attentive, between regular glazing and using foil to tent parts of the turkey that are browning too quickly. Yes, you need to make sure your turkey reaches a safe temperature without becoming overcooked…but that’s what a meat thermometer is for. So honestly, there’s no reason to experience anxiety over cooking a turkey. If I can do it, so can you!

If you’re looking for a new spin on traditional turkey this year, I highly encourage you to give this Maple-Glazed Turkey with Bacon and Sage Butter a try…just scroll down to the bottom of this post for the recipe! Gobble, gobble, yum, YUM.

Maple-Glazed Turkey with Bacon and Sage Butter ~ tender, juicy, and shingled with bacon, this is the BEST Thanksgiving turkey recipe you'll ever try! | FiveHeartHome.com BUT WAIT! Are you interested in an additional main course option for your Thanksgiving table? Does your family like to load up on side dishes, from veggies to potatoes to dinner rolls? And what about dessert, whether we’re talking traditional pie or something a little bit out of the box?

The talented food bloggers below have all of your holiday recipe desires covered! Make your Thanksgiving meal one to remember by clicking on the corresponding links underneath the photos for any and all of these amazing recipes…

Main Dishes

Thanksgiving Recipes Blog Hop ~ 25+ Holiday Main Dishes, Side Dishes, and Desserts from Your Favorite Bloggers! | FiveHeartHome.comMaple – Glazed Turkey with Bacon and Sage | Five Heart Home
Turkey Tetrazzini w/ Mushrooms and Kale | The Fountain Ave Kitchen
Orange Balsamic Glazed Ham | Cherished Bliss
Turkey Soup | Carmel Moments
Cranberry Stuffed Turkey | Thoughts from Alice

Vegetables

Thanksgiving Recipes Blog Hop ~ 25+ Holiday Main Dishes, Side Dishes, and Desserts from Your Favorite Bloggers! | FiveHeartHome.com

Cauliflower Gratin | Love Grows Wild
Creamy Cheese Corn Casserole | Five Heart Home
Cranberry Citrus Salad with Goat Cheese and Pecans | Delightful E Made
SautΓ©ed French Green Beans | Cherished Bliss

Potatoes

Thanksgiving Recipes Blog Hop ~ 25+ Holiday Main Dishes, Side Dishes, and Desserts from Your Favorite Bloggers! | FiveHeartHome.com

Potatoes Au Gratin | Yummy Healthy Eats
Mashed Sweet Potatoes | Live Laugh Rowe
Honey-Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potatoes | Cooking with Ruthie
Cheesy Garlic & Herb Mashed Potatoes | Cherished Bliss

Sides & Breads

Thanksgiving Recipes Blog Hop ~ 25+ Holiday Main Dishes, Side Dishes, and Desserts from Your Favorite Bloggers! | FiveHeartHome.com

Harvest Grain Rolls | Heather’s French Press
Jello Salad | Your Homebased Mom
Herb and Cheese Monkey Bread | Five Heart Home
Brown Rice | Uncommon Designs

Pies

Thanksgiving Recipes Blog Hop ~ 25+ Holiday Main Dishes, Side Dishes, and Desserts from Your Favorite Bloggers! | FiveHeartHome.com

Dairy Free Pumpkin Pie | Cooking with Curls
Apple Pie Waffles | Club Narwhal
Raspberry Pie | Dessert Now Dinner Later
Triple Layer Chocolate Pie | I Should be Mopping the Floor
Salted Caramel Pumpkin Pecan Pie | Lemon Tree Dwelling

Desserts

Thanksgiving Recipes Blog Hop ~ 25+ Holiday Main Dishes, Side Dishes, and Desserts from Your Favorite Bloggers! | FiveHeartHome.com

No Bake Brown Sugar Cheesecake w/ Spiced Pears | Baking a Moment
Nutella Kahlua Truffles | Kleinworth & Co
Pumpkin Cupcakes & Maple Cream Cheese Frosting | Cupcake Diaries
Cream Filled Coffee Cake | Tastes of Lizzy T
Cranberry Orange Mulled Wine | Wine and Glue
Praline Pumpkin Cheesecake | Maison De Pax

And now for that bacon-blessed turkey I’ve been yammering about… πŸ˜‰

Maple-Glazed Turkey with Bacon and Sage Butter

Yield: 12 to 14 servings

Maple-Glazed Turkey with Bacon and Sage Butter

Juicy, tender turkey is slathered with sage-infused butter, shingled with crispy bacon, and glazed with maple syrup in what just might be the best Thanksgiving turkey you've ever tasted!

Ingredients

  • 1 (12- to 14-pound) fresh or frozen turkey (completely thawed)
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage leaves
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • Optional aromatics to stuff inside turkey (such as whole garlic cloves, quartered onion, cut lemons, oranges, or apples, etc.)
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 8 strips bacon
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 cups chicken stock/broth (OR turkey stock/broth)
  • 1/2 lemon

Instructions

  1. An hour before roasting, take turkey out of fridge, unwrap, and remove bag of giblets and/or neck (check both neck cavity and body cavity). Place turkey on a rack in a large roasting pan, breast side up, to allow it to dry and come to room temperature.
  2. Place oven rack in the bottom third of the oven and remove the top rack. Preheat oven to 350Β°F.
  3. Stir minced fresh sage into softened butter until well combined. Season well with salt and pepper.
  4. Liberally sprinkle the turkey, inside and out, with salt and pepper. Carefully slide your fingers under the skin of the breast and drumsticks to lift it away from the meat. Slip spoonfuls of sage butter underneath the skin and gently smooth over the top of the skin to spread out the butter in a thin layer. Repeat everywhere that you can reach under the skin until all of the butter has been used.
  5. If you are stuffing your bird, fill it with dressing without packing too tightly (cook leftover dressing in a separate baking dish). If you aren't stuffing your bird, you may place a few aromatics inside the cavity (I used a head of garlic, peeled and separated into cloves, and a large quartered apple for this turkey), but it's not required. Truss the turkey legs.
  6. Combine maple syrup and hot water. Use a basting brush to baste the entire turkey. Place turkey in the oven for 2 hours, basting with maple syrup every 30 minutes. If the breast and/or the tops of the drumsticks turn golden brown before the rest of the turkey, shield them with foil.
  7. After 2 hours, remove the turkey from the oven and insert an oven-safe meat thermometer into the meatiest part of the thigh (without touching the bone). Baste the turkey with syrup once more and arrange the strips of bacon over the top of the turkey with no gaps in between them, until they cover the entire breast. Return the turkey to the oven for about 30 minutes, then baste with syrup again (bacon and all). Continue cooking, watching the bacon closely so that it turns crisp but does not burn. If the bacon is done before the thermometer inserted in the turkey reads 165Β°F, shield the bacon with foil (as well as any other parts of the turkey that are brown enough, which might end up being the whole turkey) and continue cooking until the turkey is done. (Depending on a variety of factors, a turkey typically takes anywhere from 13 to 20 minutes per pound to cook. The 12 1/2 pound turkey in these photos took about 3 hours to cook).
  8. Once the temperature of the turkey reaches 165Β°F and the juices are running clear, tilt the turkey in the pan so that the liquids run out of the cavity. Transfer turkey to a cutting board, tent with foil, and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  9. In the meantime, skim the excess fat from the pan drippings. Pour the drippings into a medium pot, scraping brown bits at the bottom of the roasting pan from the turkey but leaving behind any burnt maple syrup sludge. Set pot over medium heat and whisk flour into the drippings until smooth. Gradually add chicken stock while continuously stirring. Raise heat to high and bring to a simmer while stirring regularly, until gravy is thickened to your preferred consistency. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Notes

In my experience, thawing a frozen turkey in the refrigerator always takes longer than the estimated time. I bought this turkey on Tuesday and it was still partially frozen when I went to cook it on Saturday, so I had to finish thawing it using the cold water method.

I prefer leaving the turkey unstuffed so that it cooks more evenly. However, an unstuffed bird will cook slightly faster than a stuffed one. A brined turkey or an untrussed turkey may also cook faster.

Cooking a turkey that's less than 12 pounds will require less than 3 hours to cook. You should probably check the temperature sooner and add the bacon earlier in the cooking process.

Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://www.fivehearthome.com/2014/11/12/maple-glazed-turkey-with-bacon-and-sage-butter/

Adapted from Food Network

More Thanksgiving inspiration…

Slow Cooker Creamy Cheesy Corn
Slow Cooker Creamy Cheesy Corn ~ a rich, comforting side dish that's the perfect addition to any holiday menu...because not only is this recipe delicious, but it also frees up the stove and oven! | FiveHeartHome.com

Holiday Honeycrisp Salad
Holiday Honeycrisp Salad ~ full of flavor and texture, this gorgeous salad is loaded with fresh apple slices, crunchy candied pecans, chewy dried cranberries, and salty blue cheese, all dressed with a tangy-sweet apple cider vinaigrette atop a bed of your favorite salad greens...so vibrant and tasty you'll want to make it an annual addition to your Thanksgiving or Christmas menu! | FiveHeartHome.com

Garlic & Herb Stuffing
Garlic and Herb Stuffing ~ made with French bread and cornbread, this savory, simple, Thanksgiving dressing is easily customizable | FiveHeartHome.com

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes
Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes ~ the perfect Thanksgiving side dish, featuring a smooth, creamy filling and topped with toasty marshmallows or crunchy pecan streusel | FiveHeartHome.com

Bacon Green Bean Bundles with Brown Sugar Glaze
Bacon Green Bean Bundles with Brown Sugar Glaze | {Five Heart Home}

Mini Pecan Pies
Mini Pecan Pies ~ flaky, tender crust requires no rolling and the nutty, sugary filling calls for only 5 ingredients, making these a perfect addition to your Thanksgiving dessert table! | FiveHeartHome.com

And in case you’re looking for a free Thanksgiving printable or two…
Thanksgiving Quote Free Printable ~ "Gather with a Grateful Heart" | FiveHeartHome.com

See all of our RECIPES <<< here!

And see all of our PRINTABLES <<< here!

* * * * * * * * * *

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I always love hearing from you! ~ samantha {at} five heart home {dot} com

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Comments

  1. Oh good grief, Samantha!! Now I can’t locate my socks anywhere…because they’ve been KNOCKED OFF by the amazingness of your turkey! INCREDIBLE. Can you save me a seat at your Thanksgiving table? Because I’m pretty sure I need this in my life. Thank you so much for inviting me to be in this fantastic blog hop!! So much deliciousness.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Ha, Kristi…thank you so much! Well, right after I sent you a container of bacon-y turkey leftovers (labeled with this great printable that I know I saw somewhere!), I will help you locate your socks. πŸ˜‰ Or, of course, you are ALWAYS welcome at our Thanksgiving table! Thanks again for joining the blog hop…I’ve loved checking out everyone’s yummy recipes, and your chocolate pie was no exception! Yum.

  2. Samantha, I love that this was your first turkey a decade ago–if it tastes as good as it looks I can see why you never looked for another recipe πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for organizing this fun hop!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thank you very much, Amy! I have to admit that I’m a creature of habit sometimes…and besides, why try to fix something if it ain’t broke?! πŸ˜‰ I will probably be making this turkey until I’m old and gray, but I have a feeling that nobody is going to complain. Thanks again for participating in the blog hop…your apple pie waffles blew me away!

  3. just delicious!and thanks so much for putting this together

  4. Can I come over for Thanksgiving please? Goodness this looks amazing! And that sage butter? Hmmmm!!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      You are welcome any time, Zainab! You know, this recipe is the only one I make all year using sage! But it’s so yummy that I really do need to change that… πŸ˜‰

  5. This looks like the perfect centerpiece for an amazing holiday meal!

  6. Holy cow. My mouth is watering!!!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks, Alli! I think the perfect thing to round out this turkey would be a nice pumpkin cupcake… πŸ˜‰

  7. Why have I never thought to put bacon on my turkey? WHY?! I am trying a variation of this for sure. Bacon makes everything better.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      I couldn’t agree more, Liv…in fact, that’s one of my life mantras. πŸ˜‰ Hope this is a hit if you try it!

  8. Mother of mercy, this looks seriously incredible. I have been cooking the same turkey every year too (apple cider brined), but I think you have convinced me to break out of my comfort zone! I can’t imagine anything better than sage flecked butter, smoky bacon, and maple glaze!!!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      You are too sweet, Allie…thank you for the kind words! You might even be able to give this exterior treatment to your apple cider brined turkey? I think it would be hard to mess up sage butter, bacon, and maple syrup… πŸ˜‰

  9. This looks so good I can’t even stand it! So glad I found your blog.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thank you so much, Jocelyn! I’m glad that you found my blog, too. πŸ˜‰ I have to admit that I’ve been a lurker over at yours for awhile now…lots of talent and inspiration to be found over there for sure! Thanks for stopping by and hope you’re having a great week…

  10. You had me at BACON! Seriously, Samantha, this is one beautiful bird. Confession… I’ve never cooked a turkey before, but I definitely think this recipe is going on my Thanksgiving bucket list now! Thanks for the inspiration! πŸ™‚

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      You can do it, Liz! I still get a little intimidated by the thought of cooking a whole turkey every single time I do it, but once I get started, I remember how easy it is. Hopefully the bacon here will entice a few newbies to cook their first turkey this year… πŸ˜‰ Thanks for hopping over, and hope you’re having a fantastic day!

  11. YUM! Everything is better with bacon and this looks absolutely amazing. The fact that you’ve been making the bird the same way for 10 years? I know it’s gotta be outstanding. My work always gives everyone a turkey right before Thanksgiving. Now I have the perfect recipe! Thanks for sharing!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Oh, I hope you get to try this, Erin! I probably need to branch out and try a different turkey recipe one day, but this one is so good that I don’t know if I can bring myself to do it… πŸ˜‰ Hope you enjoy it if you make it!

  12. Wow! That’s a great looking turkey and so flavorful!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thank you, Thao! It’s definitely a flavorful turkey. πŸ™‚ I appreciate you stopping by and hope you have a great week!

  13. Wow…that turkey looks absolutely amazing!! My son wants me to cover our turkey in bacon this year, and now I am more than willing to oblige. πŸ˜‰

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Your son sounds like a smart guy, Lisa! I don’t think you can go wrong covering turkey — or anything, for that matter — with bacon. πŸ˜‰ Thanks so much for stopping by…hope your week is off to a great start!

  14. Found this great looking turkey at the Six Sisters Link Party! It looks delicious!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much, Melissa! I’m happy you hopped over to check it out and hope you have a chance to try it someday. πŸ™‚

  15. Only one word – AMAZING!!

  16. Hello cute lady! Love it. Everything looks incredible. Pinned and tweeted. We really appreciate you taking the time to stop by our party. It wouldn’t be a party without you. Please join us on Monday at 7 pm. Happy Monday! Lou Lou Girls

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much, Lou Lou Girls! I appreciate y’all hosting the party and hopping over to say ‘hi.’ πŸ™‚ Hope you’ve been having a great week!

  17. This turkey looks exquisite and definitely proves that bacon makes everything better!!! Pinned! I’ll see if my family will let me try this turkey for thanksgiving!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Oh yay, Lindsey! I think your family will enjoy this turkey recipe if they let you talk them into it. But how much arm-twisting should bacon really require? πŸ˜‰

  18. Wow, this sounds great! I do a similar turkey but without bacon, and I add spiced apple cider with the maple glaze.
    Visiting from the Tuesday blog hop. Check out my recipe for a easy Pumpkin Tea Latte!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks for hopping over, Amber! Your turkey sounds delicious as well. πŸ™‚ Hope you’re having a great week!

  19. Katie Delgado says:

    HI! I made this turkey and it was amazing! I came back to make it again and I am unsure of the brine process that was used. Did you have it posted someplace else? I would love to make this again for thanksgiving!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Hi, Katie! So happy to hear that you enjoyed this turkey enough last year that you want to make it again this year! πŸ™‚ I didn’t include a brine recipe with this recipe…but when I want to brine my turkey, I just use a very simple solution, similar to this one (using sage as my herb of choice and leaving out the allspice berries). Hope that helps and hope you have a very happy Thanksgiving!

  20. Seriously, this is my favorite turkey recipe ever. I love Tyler Florence and his recipes are a win for me. This looks gorgeous and you’ve convinced me to make it again this year!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Isn’t this turkey the best, Karen?! I don’t think I’ve ever made a Tyler Florence recipe that didn’t turn out fantastic. Everyone should try this one! I’m so glad that you’re going to make it again this year…so am I! πŸ˜‰

  21. Thanks for posting this! The Tyler Florence recipe is also the only one I have ever made! I made it with the stuffing the first time, and have been doing it unstuffed ever since, but I’ve always had to play around with time and temp since the original recipe included stuffing. It’s great to have a recipe for an unstuffed bird!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      I totally agree, Kate…it’s hard to make another turkey recipe once you’ve made this one! πŸ˜‰ And I’m glad that the directions here will help you with cooking your unstuffed bird. Happy (early) Thanksgiving!

  22. Hi there! Thank you for posting this. I love Tyler, and I’ll be making my VERY FIRST Thanksgiving dinner this year! I’m nervous, but I’m committed to this turkey! Question: I notice Tyler puts the bacon on before putting into the oven AND he shields it with foil. Your directions say add bacon later and don’t put foil on to start with. If I have a 10-12 lb turkey, how likely will I need to put foil on during the cooking process? Also, for a smaller bird, how long should the initial cook time be before adding bacon?

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Hi Carl! If you search for Tyler Florence’s turkey recipe, you will see that it actually comes up as two separate recipes with the same title. However, the directions for each recipe are slightly different! I’ve been making this recipe for quite a few years now, so I believe the method I follow is his original one. But honestly, I’m sure both ways work…it’s probably just a matter of personal preference. And I wouldn’t worry about adding foil at all unless you see that your turkey or bacon needs it (and at some point, certain areas probably will). As far as the timing, I think you can follow the recipe pretty closely for a 10-12 pound turkey. There’s a note in the recipe that the turkey I cooked for that post was 12 1/2 pounds, but you could put the bacon on slightly earlier if your turkey is closer to 10 pounds. Hope that helps and that I answered all of your questions. Good luck with your first time cooking Thanksgiving dinner…I’m sure it will turn out great! πŸ™‚

      • Samantha, thank you! I’m sorry if I seemed overzealous with my messages. Ha! I’m an avid cook, but I’ve never done Thanksgiving before. I’ll follow your directions and will pay attention to the turkey parts that may be cooking faster than others. One other question: I read that basting (in general) slows down the cooking process because of frequently opening the oven and losing time, etc. Did you notice this? Also, if I’m making separate dressing that requires the same oven (and about an hour plus), do you think I should bake the dressing before starting the turkey or do both at the same time?

        Thanks again!

        • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

          No problem, Carl…your Thanksgiving meal is going to turn out great because of how carefully you’re planning everything out! πŸ™‚

          I’m sure that basting does slow down the cooking process, but as long as you open and close the oven door as quickly as possible, I don’t think it should present too much of a problem for you. Personally, I’ve never noticed it being an issue. πŸ™‚

          As far as baking the dressing at the same time, I think that depends on the size of your oven and the size of your turkey and where exactly the dish of dressing would fit. πŸ˜‰ If the dressing is going to be all the way at the top or bottom of the oven where it might cook unevenly, I probably wouldn’t cook it at the same time. Instead, I would totally prepare the stuffing ahead of time. Then, right when the turkey comes out of the oven, I’d pop in the stuffing and bake it while the turkey is resting and I’m making the gravy. Since the turkey needs to rest about 30 minutes, that timing should work unless your stuffing requires a significantly longer cooking time.

          Hope that helps. πŸ™‚ Good luck (though I don’t think you need it) and have a very happy Thanksgiving!

          • Thank you, Samantha! I appreciate all of your tips and advice. I’m just overly nervous because it’s my first Thanksgiving dinner. I’m sure I won’t make it a complete disaster.

            Happy Thanksgiving to you!

          • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

            Same to you, Carl! πŸ™‚

          • Samantha, I’ve been meaning to send you an update on my Thanksgiving dinner. It. Was. Fabulous! In all honestly, my husband and I said, “This is the best tasting turkey we’ve ever had in all the years of eating turkey!” It was that good! I followed the instructions EXACTLY. I placed cut up onions and seasoning in the cavity, then followed a shorter cooking schedule because my bird was 9.6 lbs. I did NOT need to tent the breast or legs with foil at ALL. I assume with a bigger bird, this is necessary. The maple glaze, sage butter, aromatics, were all excellent. I served traditional sausage stuffing, cream cheese and chives mashed potatoes, fresh green beans with burnt butter and roasted almonds, and gravy with rolls. Divine.

            Thanks again!!

          • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

            Oh, thank you so much for the update, Carl…I am SO happy to hear that the turkey was such a hit! Your whole menu was amazing. Sounds like you had a wonderful Thanksgiving…I hope your Christmas is just as fabulous. πŸ™‚

  23. Hi, Samantha. Did my previous message (with questions about this recipe) come through yet?

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Hi, Carl! I apologize…I have a giveaway going that is receiving a ton of comments, and I’m afraid your previous comment got buried. I will look for it right now and reply…sorry again!

  24. how long do i cook it for? and also what temp?

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Hi Emma! All of the directions are listed in the recipe. Hope you enjoyed this if you made it! πŸ™‚

  25. I just made this turkey yesterday and it was delicious. However, what I found the most amazing was the turkey broth/soup I made from the turkey carcass. The broth is the best I have tasted! Now, what we didn’t like was gravy made from the turkey drippings. The gravy was way too sweet even after adding additional chicken broth to it. Great recipe. Thank you for sharing.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      So glad this turkey was a hit for Thanksgiving, Jeannette! That’s interesting that y’all loved the broth but didn’t care for the gravy, but I can totally understand it…the sweet undertone is definitely not for everyone. So happy y’all enjoyed this recipe despite it! Hope your December is going well! πŸ™‚

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