For those who know me well, it is pretty much a given that I will create just about anything using bacon and rum. We were having a small party on Thanksgiving several years ago and I was volunteered to do the Turkey. Normally I just deep fry it, but they wanted plenty of bacon involved so with a couple of cocktails, here is what I came up with.
And more importantly – a close up of the bird:
Here is a total list of Ingredients:
1 – FRESH Turkey
1 – 16oz jar of Creole Injector Creole Butter Marinade
1.5 – cups dark rum
3 – cloves garlic
1 lb salted butter
1 – tsp sage
1 – tsp thyme
1 – tsp black pepper
1 – tsp poultry seasoning
3 lbs thick cut bacon
You should start prepping the turkey 1 day before you want to cook it. It will take about 10-15 minutes.
Rinse the turkey, remove neck and giblets and pat the bird dry. Put the bird in a large pan or roaster that will sit in the fridge overnight.
Prepare your injection with:
1 16oz jar creole butter
1 cup dark rum
2 cloves garlic – mash into oblivion (I used a little food processor thing – you need to inject it so you are looking for a paste consistency)
Mix the ingredients well and inject into the bird. If you have not injected – here are a few hints:
·If you do not get the garlic well mashed and use the free injector – it will clog the openings
·When you inject the bird – pull out slowly as you push the plunger
When you are done injecting – cover the bird and put in the fridge for a day.
You have done a great job so far – fix yourself a drink AND – set out the butter now so it is soft and at room temp for tomorrow’s adventure.
A 14lb bird will take about 4 hours to cook and about 30 minutes to rest. So I recommend starting about 5.5 to 6 hours before you are going to serve.
Since this is done in the morning –I take the bird out of the fridge – set on my work area and mix up a batch of bloody marys to get in the right frame of mind.
When the butter mixture is well mixed set aside and have drink – you will need it. Especially if your guests used the SOFT butter you had set out for breakfast and you had to mix in some cold butter instead. Trust me – avoid this mistake at all costs. If you end up using some cold butter and try to mix it with the rum – children should leave the room (or in my case – the house – I am a sailor – use your imagination)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Pat the bird dry, I repeat – pat the bird DRY. Unless you want to go nuts and make this really difficult – get the bird dry. You now want to coat the bird with the butter mixture and here is how I do it. I put the bird in the roaster breast side down and use about a 1/3 of the butter mixture on the bottom of the bird.
Get a drink before you stick your hands in the butter mixture – make sure you have soap and towels next to the sink as well. If the bird is dry and the butter is very soft, it will go on pretty easy. If the butter was in the fridge and the bird is wet – this job sucks so be warned.
With the bottom of the bird buttered flip it breast side up in the pan and wash hands – have another drink.
At this point – if you want to stuff the bird, do it now before you butter the top. I use my Drunken Mushroom stuffing which you can find here.
With the bird stuffed or not, you can begin to cover the top of the bird with the remaining 2/3 of the butter spread. I put globs on it
Then I spread it out using a spatula. The butter in the above pic was a little too hard as the house was cold and it was a PITA.
With the bird coated – put it in the pre heated oven for 1 hour.
Set the timer for 30 minutes – at the end of 30 minutes – baste the bird with the melted butter mixture. Put back in the oven until the hour is up.
Grab some wax paper and cover a baking sheet
Lay out 7 strips of bacon vertically – then remove every other one (2,4,6 pieces)
Take 1 strip and lay it horizontally on 1 end – the put the other 3 back. Then fold back the 1,3,5,7 pieces and lay your 2nd horizontal piece.
I will do a tutorial soon and get it up on the web.
I do mine a little differently and I find that 7 strips is the right size instead of eight – but this is a great example. It takes me about 2 minutes to make the weave.
One thing to note as I have done a ton of bacon weaves now – I alternate the orientation of the bacon when laying this out. When you take the bacon out of the pack, it tends to be not exactly rectangular and will have fat on one side and more meat on another – by alternating, I am able to get a more tighter weave.
Here is what the weave will look like:
The next step is basically the same – but you need to cut 7 of the pieces in half – and then do TWO 2×7 weaves – this will be for the legs. This was not in the original turkey, but has been in every one since as it makes it so much easier.
When the hour is up – it is time to take your masterpiece out of the oven and wrap it in bacon.
I should not have to say this – but since common sense is a little lacking I will –Place the turkey roasting pag on something that will not burn the counter top. (Sorry Stacie, I will buy you a new counter top but it is getting close to time to remodel the kitchen anyway)
If you do not have a large thick cutting board – I use the redneck way – a few upside down muffin tins on a cookie sheet does a great job.
I do a few spoonful’s of the bacon garlic rum butter over the bird for a final basting before I wrap it.
To wrap – I take the bacon weave still on the wax paper and simply flip it over on the bird. First I do the legs and put the 2 small sections.
Next take the large section – still on the wax paper and flip it over onto the turkey. The Turkey is hot and the bacon will soften immediately and will let you slide it into place. Tough it up and don’t be a wuss. I have yet to burn my fingers, but it can get warm so be careful. Tuck it down between the leg joints and wings. You should end up something like this.
With the bird wrapped – put back in the oven and set the timer for 2 hours. About every 30 minutes – I baste the bird with some of the bacon garlic rum butter drippings. I honestly have no idea if it is needed, but I just like to open the door and have the smell wasp thru the house. Plus it gives me an excuse to get out of the hot tub and come in the house for a refill of my bloody mary.
At the end of 2 hours – the bird will look like above – but it is not done yet – it still needs about another hour. So, as to not have the bacon extra extraextra crispy – I cover the bird with foil and put it in for another hour.
In my oven – the 14lb bird was a 180 degrees in 4 hours and 15 minutes – at which point I set on the redneck muffin pan cooling rack and let it rest for about 30 minutes before carving. Of course the guests (and cook) have to sample the bacon and thuse the large portion that is missing from the leg 🙂
I have done a bunch of cooking and I (my our guests) think this is best turkey ever. I have done a ton of different deep fried birds and a few smoked, but this is so incredibly moist and flavorful. Use my ideas or don’t – but make sure you have fun!