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!
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 at the bottom of this post, 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! 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.
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? 😉
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.
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 indescribably (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.
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 165°F.
- Remove turkey from oven, tent with foil, allow to rest, carve, and enjoy!
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! Gobble, gobble, yum, YUM.
Adapted from Food Network
♥More Thanksgiving inspiration…
And in case you’re looking for a free Thanksgiving printable or two…
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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…
Maple – 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
Cauliflower Gratin | Love Grows Wild
Creamy Cheese Corn Casserole | Five Heart Home
Cranberry Citrus Salad with Goat Cheese and Pecans | Delightful E Made
Sautéed French Green Beans | Cherished Bliss
*Sides & Breads*
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
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
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