1 14-16 pound turkey
1T dried sage
3 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
3 slices bacon, cut in half
fresh thyme & sage leaves
3 cups chicken stock
1. Wash the turkey inside and out, removing the little bag of goodies.
2. Pat the turkey dry.
3. In a small bowl, combine the dry sage, salt and pepper
4. Using your fingers, separate the skin from the breast meat. Sprinkle with spice blend. Place 3 half slices of bacon, thyme, and sage leaves under the skin of each breast.
5. Rub the bird with olive oil, then rub with spice `mixture.
6. Let stand on the counter for 1 hour.
7. Preheat oven to 425° F.
8. Loosely stuff the cavity of the turkey with stuffing, not too stuffed.
9. Place the stuffed turkey on the rack in a roasting pan, and then pour the stock into the pan.
10. Place uncovered turkey in a preheated 425º F oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, cover the roasting pan with foil. Using potholders, crimp and press the foil into the edges of the pan making a tight seal and return to oven and reduce the heat to 350º F and continue roasting for 3-3½ more hours.
11. Check the internal temperature; it should be 160-165º F deep in breast. If it is not 165º F, recover with the foil and continue cooking, checking every 30 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 160-165º F.
12. Remove foil; baste with pan drippings, if necessary place back in oven and brown an additional 5-10 minutes. Remove from the oven.
13. Rest the turkey at least 30 minutes before carving. The turkey will remain warm for about 1½ hours
14. To carve the turkey, remove the stuffing, then use a carving knife; remove the leg and thigh. Then separate the leg from the thigh. Remove the meat from the bones and slice into bite-size chunks and place on platter. Repeat with other leg.
15. Cut down the breastbone to remove the breast meat from the bone. Remove the bacon and herbs from under the skin. Slice into slices of the desired thickness and place on platter. Repeat with other side. Enjoy!
TIPS & TRICKS
• I wash the turkey (step #2) the night before then place in a clean garbage bag.
• On Thanksgiving Day, 6 hours before serving, I take the turkey out of the refrigerator and start the recipe from step #3. This allows the turkey to sit an hour on the counter. Then 4 hours to roast and an additional hour in case it needs longer roasting time and time to rest before carving.
• The cooked turkey can sit up 1½ hour before carving. The meat will still be warm. Serve with plenty of hot gravy.