Thanksgiving Wild Turkey

from SeriousEats.com and The Wild Chef cookbook

There is nothing like sitting down for a traditional family meal with a bird you brought home. Upgrade your feast this year with—what else?—bacon.

Preparation time: 30 minutes. Cook time: 2 hours 30 minutes. Serves 6 to 10.

Ingredients:

¾ lb. fatback, salted pork, or bacon (½ lb. minced, ¼ lb. sliced)
1 wild turkey, 11-13 lbs.
Coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 yellow onion, minced
3 ribs celery, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 c. toasted diced bread
1 c. chicken stock
6 sprigs sage, minced
2 sprigs rosemary, minced
8 sprigs Italian parsley, minced

Preheat the oven to 350℉. In a heavy saute pan, slowly cook half the minced bacon. Set aside and keep warm.

Dry turkey very well with paper towels. Using a brush, coat the outside with some of the warmed bacon and season well with salt and pepper inside and out.

Heat up the rest of the minced bacon on medium heat. Add the onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add celery and cook 5 minutes more. Add garlic; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat and add toasted bread cubes. Moisten with chicken stock and add minced herbs. Taste the bread cubes, adding more broth and herbs as needed—they should be moist and delicious.

Gently fill the cavity of the turkey with bread cube mixture. Cover the breast with the remaining slices of bacon.

Place the turkey, breast side up, in a heavy roasting pan. Roast in oven for 1 hour. Remove the bacon pieces, raise the oven temperature to 375℉, and continue roasting for 1 hour to brown the breast.

Remove the turkey as soon as it registers 160℉ on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, away from the bone.

Let the turkey rest for at least 20-30 minutes before carving across the grain with a sharp knife.

Serve up for your family and enjoy the holiday!