Bacon-Topped Turkey with Maple Glaze

A glaze of real maple syrup and balsamic vinegar produces a crisp golden skin and satiny gravy with a hint of sweetness. Create a lovely presentation by draping maple-flavored bacon across the back of the bird before roasting. Sliced carrots and quartered onions are baked in the pan, where they absorb that delicious flavor.

Makes 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 12-pound turkey
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup butter, cut up
  • ½ cup chopped fresh sage
  • ½ cup chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tart, red-skinned apples, cored and cut into sixths
  • 10 large carrots (about 2½ pounds), peeled, trimmed and cut into 4-inch lengths
  • 4 large onions, peeled and quartered
  • 1 pound maple-flavored bacon
  • ¾ cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F. Rinse turkey inside and out; pat dry with paper towels. Season cavity and outer skin with salt and pepper. In a bowl, mash together butter, sage and thyme. Loosen skin of breast and legs by running fingers under skin; rub all but about 2 teaspoons herb butter under skin, rubbing reserved butter on outer skin. Place apples inside turkey cavity. Tie legs together with kitchen twine. Place carrots and onions in roasting pan. Place turkey on rack over vegetables. Arrange bacon strips side by side over turkey. Roast, uncovered, for 1 hour.

Reduce heat to 350°F. For maple glaze, combine maple syrup and balsamic vinegar. Generously brush glaze over turkey. Cover and roast for 30 minutes; repeat glazing every 30 minutes until meat thermometer reads 160°F in thickest part of thigh, leg and breast. (Temperature will increase to 165°F after removal from oven.) Uncover turkey during last 30 minutes of cooking for golden color. Approximate total cooking time is 3 hours.

Remove turkey from oven; transfer to cutting board and cover with foil. Let rest 20 minutes before carving. Meanwhile, to make gravy, skim and discard fat from pan juices. Strain juices into a medium saucepan. Bring to boiling. Whisk flour into chicken broth; stir broth mixture into juices. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook 1 to 2 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve gravy with turkey and vegetables.