2021 Home for the Holidays Contest Tender Turkey

Tender Turkey

Ingredients: 1 turkey any size (if frozen, defrost in refrigerator)

hickory or apple wood smoked bacon, 

½ teaspoon garlic powder

 1 teaspoon onion powder

salt to taste (remember there is salt in the bacon)

A couple grinds of pepper to taste

A couple sprigs of fresh thyme and  a couple sprigs of fresh rosemary, tied together with string and put in the pot (if unable to find fresh ¼ teaspoon of dried herb will work)

 1 cup or so of semi-sweet white wine (St. James Schoolhouse white for example)

 a teaspoon of cornstarch or arrowroot starch dissolved in ¼ cup of water.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place turkey in a baking pan with at least 2-3 inch sides, large enough for your bird and also gravy. Place strips of bacon over the breast and legs of the bird until very little skin shows. If there is a pop-up turkey timer, leave that part uncovered by bacon. Put ½ cup of water the pan with the bird, as well as the thyme, rosemary, salt, pepper and wine. Cover in foil and bake, timing it for 13-15 minutes per pound of bird. Don’t put foil all the way around the pan, as the steam coming off will collect on the foil and drip all over your oven. Just tent the bird. When the meat is close to being done, take off the foil tent and let the skin and bacon crisp up. WARNING! The aroma is heavenly, but the steam could scald you so take the tent off carefully! When the turkey timer pops up (sometimes they don’t, so you will have to sometimes stick it with a fork) and the meat is done (clear juices come out), take the bird out and let it sit few minutes before slicing. While it is cooling, put the gravy on the stove and bring it to a boil. This is when you taste it to see if it needs additional salt or seasoning. When boiling, add bit by bit-stirring all the while-the cornstarch water. Add some, stir, wait a second or two for thickening, add some more until desired thickness is reached. You don’t want to add too much or you will have “jello gravy”. Place gravy in a gravy boat and slice the turkey. The gravy will be great with dressing, green-bean casserole with the dried crispy onions, and anything else it touches. Folks will fight over the pieces of bacon. Try and make sure everyone gets a little piece.

Mary F. Henson

St. Louis