Monday, November 14, 2022

Thanksgiving Pairing: Maple Bacon Roasted Turkey and Chardonnay

My favorite bird!  Spoil yourself on Thanksgiving with turkey wrapped in bacon and Gary Farrell Chardonnay. We make this turkey every year and it is the best. Try the recipe on Thanksgiving and you'll be in heaven!  I am blessed an thankful to have such wonderful friends and family. Cheers!

The Dish:

Turkey with Maple Syrup, Bacon and Sage Butter

The Recipe:

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 bunch fresh sage, leaves finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups chicken stock
18 pound fresh turkey (local Ayrshire Farm Turkey)
1/4 cup hot water
8 strips bacon
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 lemon, juiced
Salt and pepper
1/2 yellow onion, peeled and quartered
Tops and bottoms of a bunch of celery
2 carrots

15-18 lb turkey can feed about 14-16 people. If you get a frozen turkey, you will need to defrost it in the refrigerator for several days first. Allow approximately 5 hours of defrosting for every pound.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and remove the top rack.

Combine the butter and sage in a mixing bowl, mash with a fork or spoon until the sage is well incorporated and the butter has flecks of green in it; season with salt and pepper.

Remove the neck and giblets from the inside of the turkey and discard or save for stock. Rinse the bird thoroughly inside and out with cold water, pat dry. Sprinkle the cavity and skin liberally with salt and pepper.

Using your fingers, gently lift the skin from the breast and legs, and slip pieces of the sage butter underneath; massaging it in as you go.

Add in salt and pepper. Fill the bird with a half a yellow onion, peeled and quartered, a couple of carrots, and some tops and bottoms of celery. Truss the turkey.

Place turkey BREAST DOWN on the bottom of a rack in a roasting pan. Slide it into the oven. Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, whisk together the maple syrup and hot water to thin the glaze out a bit; use this to baste the turkey every 30 minutes.

Cook for 30 minutes and then reduce the heat to 350 F for the next 2 hours. The turkey should take about 3 1/2 hours to cook (i.e. 15 to 20 minutes per pound.) If the legs brown too quickly, cover with foil. About 2 1/2 hours into cooking flip the turkey to breast side up and shingle the strips of bacon over the turkey breast to cover; continue to roast and baste for another hour or so at 300 F. Take off the bacon during the last 30 minutes so the skin can brown.

The turkey is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the meatiest part of the thigh registers 170 degrees (the thigh juices will also run clear when pricked with a knife.) Transfer the turkey to a cutting board and let rest for 20 minutes before carving, so the juices can settle back into the meat.


Skim off the excess fat from the pan drippings and pour the drippings into a pot over medium heat. Whisk the flour into the drippings, stirring as it thickens to prevent lumps. Add the remaining chicken stock and bring to a simmer; season with salt and pepper and hit it with a squeeze of lemon juice to brighten the flavor. Simmer for 5 minutes and then strain to remove any particles. Stir in heavy cream. Serve the gravy with the maple-roasted turkey.
Gary Farrell 2019 Russian River Selection Chardonnay: Rich and golden, yet vibrant and zesty, this beautiful orchestra of Russian River Valley vineyards offers up enticing aromas of ripe nectarine, honeysuckle, lemongrass and freshly baked brioche. Flinty, briny and spicy, the palate is full-bodied and rich, yet remarkably mineral-driven, with flavors of roasted Meyer lemon, grapefruit, ginger and just a kiss of lightly toasted oak. The beautiful saline quality balances the tangy acidity and lingering spice. Everything is nicely integrated, from the tangy entry to the long oily finish. We had so much fun visiting the winery.

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