This Thanksgiving dinner brought a whole new meaning to the term “turkey bacon”. Oh. My. Word.
Let me back up a minute. First of all, I was not looking forward to turkey this year. To be honest, most of the time it ends up dry and not very tasty, and I am over it after just one slice. My husband will vouch for this, because I commented several times leading up to the holiday about thinking outside the box and not doing a turkey at all. In fact, the only reason I even agreed to do a turkey is because we hosted my husband’s family the dinner this year, and he and my daughter were really looking forward to the turkey. After much pleading and begging on their parts, I gave in and bought a turkey.
Remembering back to the last time we hosted (several years ago), when the turkey turned out pretty decent, I scrounged and found the brine that I soaked the bird in that year. Side note here – if you have never brined a turkey…. DO IT!!!!!! It is worth the effort! I’ll provide the recipe I used below, but when you brine, you make a salt mixture and soak the turkey in it for 24 hours prior to baking. This tenderizes the meat and makes it so moist! Definitely the way to go in my opinion!!
Using the brine was the only thing on my radar until my Father-in-law showed up. One thing you need to know about Pops is that he is an amazing cook! When he walks in the kitchen and starts cooking, you just stand back and drool. He came telling of an idea he saw of making a bacon weave to go on the turkey as it bakes. Me, not really excited about the turkey, agreed right away because let’s face it…. bacon makes everything better!
Once again, bacon did not fail! The turkey this year was absolutely amazing! The brine made the turkey so moist, and the bacon provided such incredible flavor. It was definitely worth it!! And, for once, I have enjoyed eating the leftovers. 🙂
1 cup kosher salt
1 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon cracked pepper
3-4 garlic cloves minced
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 quart warm water
Mix the kosher salt and brown sugar in the warm water until completely dissolved. Stir in pepper, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce. After rinsing a thawed turkey, place the turkey in a large container and poor water mixture over turkey. Add additional water until the turkey is completely covered. Allow to soak for 24 hours. Rinse turkey before baking.
1 lb of your favorite thick cut bacon
Weave just like you would imagine if you were weaving a basket. It will look something like this.
While you’re preparing the turkey to put in the oven, place your bacon weave into the freezer (about 15 minutes). When ready, drape over the turkey breast. Bake according to the baking chart for your size turkey.
As I’ve already said, the end result is absolutely amazing!
We baked our turkey in a bag so it didn’t require any basting. The bacon added so much to the flavor of the turkey and definitely brings a while new meaning to the term “turkey bacon”! Enjoy!!