Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Maple Roasted & Bacon Wrapped Turkey w/ Cornbread Stuffing

Wanna mix things up from the traditional turkey you prepare every year? This recipe is from Tyler Florence, my favorite chef. I have tried dozens of his recipes and have LOVED every single one, this one was no exception. The meat was very moist and juicy. The outside was sweet and savory. The cornbread stuffing was to die for and the pan drippings made an incredible gravy. It was such a hit that there were no left-overs! :( I will make this again for sure, although I plan on making a couple small adjustments which will be noted in the directions section. 


1 12-15 lbs brined turkey (recipe available on this blog) 
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 bunch fresh sage, leaves finely chopped
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large onions, finely chopped
1 loaf cornbread, cubed (about 6 cups)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup hot water
8 strips smoked bacon
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 lemon, juiced

Yields about 12-15 (1 pound) servings of turkey

Time: 1 hour prep and 3 hours cook time.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and remove top oven rack. 
In mixing bowl mash butter and sage together well until butter has green flecks in it. 
Season with salt and pepper. 

In a saute pan melt 4 tablespoons of sage butter, add onions and cook until soft and golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat.

In a medium mixing bowl combine cornbread, sauteed onions mixture, heavy cream,  egg and just enough chicken stock to moisten but not make soggy (about 1/2 cup).
 Mix well and season with salt and pepper. 

Generously sprinkle salt and pepper on outside of turkey. Using your fingers, gently lift skin from breast and legs of turkey. 

Place sage butter under skin and massage. Fill the bird with the stuffing, not packing it too tightly. Place the remaining stuffing in a buttered baking dish. 
(When turkey is done in the oven bake the stuffing at 350 degrees F for about 15 minutes).

Place turkey on baking rack on roasting pan and put into oven.

Mix maple syrup and hot water in small mixing bowl or saucepan. Use this to baste the turkey every 30 minutes. (Don't be tempted to make more glaze to baste, this will cause the pan drippings too sweet, thus making the gravy too sweet). 

After about 2 hours of cooking take the bird out of the oven and place the bacon on top, slightly overlapping. 

  • The turkey is supposed to take about 3 hours to cook. I used a convection oven and it only took 2 hours.
  •  A brined turkey is supposed to cook more quickly than a non-brined bird as well.
  •  If the bird starts getting too brown, place foil on top. 

The turkey is done when an instant read thermometer reads 170 degrees at the meatiest part of the bird AND the juices in the thigh pieces run clear. 

Place turkey on a cutting board and let rest for 20 minutes before carving. 

To make the gravy: Skim off the excess fat from the pan drippings with a spoon and place the roasting pan over 2 burners set on medium-high heat. 

Whisk the flour into the drippings, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Slowly add chicken stock until it becomes a little thinner than the consistency you desire. Season with salt and pepper and add the lemon juice (to brighten the flavor). Let simmer for 5 minutes. Strain to remove any particles, if desired. 


  1. Hi!

    I am a writer for an online food publication called Spoon University. I am writing an article about interesting ways to cook a turkey, and I was wondering if I could use a photo from this post in my article. I would be sure to give you full photo credit and link back to this original post.