Food & Drink

Bacon-Wrapped Turkey Is The Secret To A Delicious Thanksgiving

You can't go wrong with bacon.

For those tasked with hosting a holiday dinner, it's an annual obligation to read Bon Appetit's Thanksgiving issue from cover to cover.

This year's issue, which is out now on newsstands now, addresses things such as how to keep everyone un-hammered before dinner and how to be a great guest yourself. But there's one turkey trick that stands out from the rest: How to wrap it in bacon.

Infamously flavorless turkey breast is transformed to high regard when stuffed with spices, tied up and wrapped in bacon. Here's how to make this Porchetta-Style Roast Turkey Breast, reprinted courtesy of Bon Appetit:

What you'll need:

  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 oz. pancetta, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 3 sage leaves
  • 1/2 cup parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 whole skin-on, bone-in turkey breast, bones removed
  • 12 slices bacon

Grind fennel seeds and red pepper flakes in a spice mill or with a mortar and pestle until very fine. Toss spice mixture and salt in a small bowl; set aside.

Heat oil in a small skillet over medium. Cook pancetta, stirring often, until brown and crisp, 5 to 8 minutes. Let cool. Transfer pancetta and fat in skillet to a food processor, add garlic, and process to a smooth paste. Add sage, parsley, chives, rosemary, and lemon zest and process until smooth; set paste aside.

Pat turkey breast dry and place skin side down on a large rimmed baking sheet so thickest part of breast is closest to you. Run your fingers underneath fillets lengthwise to detach. Next, you’re going to butterfly each side of the breast so that the meat is of uniform thickness. Starting on one side and using a thin, sharp blade, position knife about 3 inches from neck end (the widest part of the breast) and cut downward into the thickest part of the flesh at a 45° (do not cut all the way through. Open top flap you’ve just created like a book. Fold the fillets you removed at the beginning in half and place in the top and bottom V-shaped gaps between the breasts. The idea is to create a layer of meat of uniform thickness across the entire breast.

Sprinkle reserved spice mixture all over turkey flesh; rub into crevices. Rub paste all over flesh of turkey to coat evenly, working into crevices. Roll up turkey breast like a jelly roll to form a log; position seam side down and tuck skin under at each end. Loop a length of string around outside edge and tie closed. Starting at center, tie with kitchen twine at even intervals (apply some pressure with string so turkey holds a nice round shape, but don’t tie too tightly or it will bulge when cooked).
Let rolled turkey sit two hours to bring to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 325°. Roast turkey on baking sheet until skin is golden and starting to crisp, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully remove strings with kitchen shears. Drape with bacon slices, overlapping; tuck ends underneath turkey to secure. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 140°, 30 to 40 minutes.

Increase oven temperature to 400° and cook until bacon is browned and crisp and thermometer registers 150°, 5 to 10 minutes longer. Transfer to a platter and let rest at least 40 minutes before slicing. Serve with pan juices.

Do ahead: Turkey breast can be rolled one day ahead. Chill uncovered on a rimmed baking sheet.

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