It’s one week before Thanksgiving and thousands of free range turkeys are blissfully running around barnyards. Donning buffed out legs and chests, they are well oiled, gluten-free machines. High on endorphins, life couldn’t get any better. Even “fresh” sounds good until, well…”their” holiday rolls around.
In fact, many of them must think they’re safe. I mean seriously, every store is decked out for Christmas and Thanksgiving seems to be forgotten. I truly believe these fair feathered friends are jogging side by side, planning their New Year’s celebration when they will toast with “grain” alcohol cocktails and drumsticks (ice cream, not…). With all that said, I’m sure one or two will be able to outrun the Whole Foods and Trader Joes trucks, spinning their legs like egg beaters to help get them over to the bushes. As for the others? Well, Thanksgiving, here you come.
So you’ve ordered your turkey either fresh, frozen, brined or Butterballed. Either way, you’ve got a week to figure out how to set this Thanksgiving apart from the rest. And that’s where I come in (along with my bacon obsession). Today I am going to help you wow and amaze your friends and family – while keeping them healthy at the same time. It’s all about “Baconurkey”, and yes, this will change your world.
Last year I shared my bacon-wrapped turkey recipe along with a few factoids. First, did you know that in a “lighthearted” survey 23% of men ranked bacon as their favorite fragrance? They didn’t qualify this but I’m fairly certain it’s cooked vs. raw so thought it was important to add that disclaimer. That factoid makes total sense. But in my heart I knew there MUST be something healthy about bacon. I’m sure you’re thinking, how could adding bacon ever be healthy??? Well I’m glad you inquired because I believe it’s my responsibility to find a way to help relieve any guilt you might have, every time you reach for that perfect strip.
After weeks of research I was finally able to find one healthy fact about bacon. And you know, just as in bad dates, it only takes one 😉 Here’s the one healthy fact I could find about bacon – “Pregnant women should eat bacon because it contains choline which helps fetal brain development.” What’s confusing is that if it helps fetal brains, why can’t it help ours? I’m sure it’s quite intuitive to take a flying leap, allowing us to assume you’re smarter, if you eat more bacon. (If that’s the case, I swear I must be a genius) So get ready to host a table full of brilliant people. To test them, see if they know what this means before and after dinner: Minutus cantorum, minutus balorum, minutus carborata descendum pantorum. (translation below)
So how to start…Today, I want to take you into my kitchen where people become smarter. Yes, I am here to introduce you to Baconurkey (“bacon wrapped turkey” – if you were unsure what that word meant, please have 2-3 helpings) I will add a disclaimer – By no means am I licensed to provide cooking instructions, but I’m willing to “chance” it.
So this idea came to me 2 years ago. The thing about turkey is that we really only cook them once a year. Because of this, every November we find ourselves hovered over our computer keyboard typing out the words “how to cook a turkey”. Last time I looked, this search brought over 580 million results! Well, no more. This blog is going to solve any anxiety you may have about next week’s Thanksgiving dinner and make you a superhero at the same time. Out with the plain old browned up turkey. It’s time to put a little sass on your table! I’ll keep this simple and use photos to describe how you can make a bird like this.
How to Cook a BaconUrkey (Bacon Wrapped Turkey), 101
- Defrost or use fresh – typically it takes 5 hours per pound to defrost
- Scrub that poor bird inside and out
- Dry the old bird off
- Stuff your bird with cut apple, onions, celery, parsley, rosemary, garlic (a great time to clean out your fridge)
- Open a 1 -2 pound package of good bacon (feel the love wash over you)
- Carefully lay the bacon on top of the bird – note, you can use 2 pounds if you want to completely suffocate it (legs, wings, oven, et al)
- Dump a few cans of chicken broth over everything
- Add and drink 1-2 cups of white wine
- Cover with a large piece of foil
- Follow standard cooking instructions
- Once your sassy bird hits the correct temp ( ~180⁰, take or give a few), pull the foil off and let that bacon brown up
- When the bacon is golden brown – get-ur out of the oven
- Let your beautiful, amazing bird stand for 30 minutes
- During this time you’ll need to protect the bacon. I’ve lost a few strips during the waiting period.
- Secret tip: Remove the bacon (and hide it), pop the turkey back in to brown the skin. Then place the bacon back on top for your family photo.
- A quick note on the gravy – drain off the fat and make it like you usually do. The bacon will give it a divine flavor.
Good luck and let me know if you’re going to try it! And if you do, and you love it please post a comment. If it doesn’t work out for you, I’ll just remind you of something my Momma used to say… “If you don’t have something nice to say…don’t say anything at all.” Happy early Thanksgiving everyone! PS: Mark your calendars! Bacon Day is less than a year away – August 31, 2014 (the Saturday before Labor Day)! That’s right, even bacon has its own day.
PS – What does “Minutus cantorum, minutus balorum, minutus carborata descendum pantorum” mean? Translation: “A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants.” I mean, just because we’re all baconurkey-smart, doesn’t mean we can’t be fun…
Me – pre-bacon wrapped turkey …. No more boring – Today, I’m living the life of bacon! Are you?????
If you’d like to purchase a print to remind you of this beautiful bird, cooked or not cooked, please click on “Contact”. My photography is printed on aluminum. Utilizing an advanced process which infuses dyes directly into the metal, the colors / saturation of the bacon and bird are really amazing. In addition, your print will be displayed using mount blocks which float the image ½ inch off the wall.
©2013 Shelley D Spray – No content on this site (including all photography) may be reused in any fashion without written permission from the author.