Bacon Roasted Turkey


A savory roasted turkey with a French-style twist from New York City chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud.


  • 1 (10- to 12-pound) turkey, liver and gizzard removed and finely chopped

For the roasted vegetables

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 butternut squash, necks only, peeled and cut into ½-inch-thick slices

  • 12 endive leaves

  • 24 cippollini or pearl onions

  • 2 celeriac, peeled, halved, and cut into ½-inch-thick slices

  • 12 large white or cremini mushrooms, cleaned and trimmed

  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary

  • 1 sprig fresh sage

  • 2 sprigs fresh savory

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1 tablespoon honey

for roasting the turkey breasts and thighs

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 cup white wine

  • ½ pound shallots, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)

  • 2 large stalks celery, coarsely chopped

  • 1 large carrot, coarsely chopped

  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary

  • 1 sprig fresh sage

  • 2 sprigs fresh savory

  • Grated zest of 2 oranges

For the turkey legs

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped onion (1 medium)

  • 2 cups coarsely chopped apple (2 medium)

  • 1 cup peeled and coarsely chopped chestnuts (about 12)

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic

  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest

  • Leaves from 1 stem fresh rosemary, finely chopped

  • 5 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped

  • Pinch of ground, cinnamon

  • Pinch of ground allspice

  • Pinch of ground nutmeg

  • Pinch of ground coriander

  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 4 cups ½-inch cubes sourdough bread, dried

  • ¼ cup raisins

  • ¼ cup sliced almonds or walnut halves

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 ½ cups Homemade Chicken Stock, or canned low-sodium chicken broth, skimmed of fat, plus more, if necessary

  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

for the turkey breasts

  • 30 slices smoked bacon

  • 4 fresh sage leaves, torn

  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves

  • Grated zest of 1/2 orange

  • Coarse sea salt

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


  1. Using a boning knife, remove the legs and thighs in one piece from each side of the turkey. Cut the meat away from the thigh bone. Holding the thigh bone, use your other hand to carefully cut the meat from around the leg-thigh joint without cutting through the skin. Use the blade of the knife to scrape away the meat from the leg bone up to 2 inches from the tip end. Using a cleaver, break the leg bone, leaving the tip end intact. Remove the leg and thigh bone in one piece. Refrigerate until ready to stuff. Remove the breast meat, with the skin intact, from each side of the turkey; set aside. Using the cleaver, chop all of the bones into 3-inch pieces and set aside

  2. For the breasts: Lay 15 slices of bacon horizontally and overlapping slightly, on a clean work surface. Repeat with remaining 15 slices of bacon (the bacon should be equal in length to the breasts). Sprinkle the bacon with sage, rosemary, orange zest, sea salt and the peppercorns. Center each breast, skin-side down, vertically on the bacon. Wrap the slices around each breast very tightly to enclose. Using kitchen twine, truss each breast to secure the bacon to the breast. Chill for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

  3. For the legs: In a large saute pan over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion, apples, chestnuts, garlic, orange zest, rosemary, sage, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and coriander. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the reserved chopped liver and gizzard. Season with salt and pepper, and cook for 5 minutes more. Meanwhile, combine in a large bowl the bread, raisins, and almonds. Add the cooked vegetable mixture. Gently stir in eggs. Add chicken stock, slowly, until the stuffing is moist but not wet. If necessary, add more chicken stock to moisten. Sprinkle with parsley; stir to combine.

  4. Firmly press about 1 1/2 cups of the stuffing into the center of each leg. Wrap the meat tightly around the stuffing to enclose. Truss with kitchen twine to enclose. Chill for at least 1 hour and up to overnight. Transfer any extra stuffing to a buttered baking dish, and bake, covered, for 30 minutes and uncovered for 15 minutes more in 400 degree oven.

  5. Roasting the breasts and legs: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees with the racks in the lower third and upper third of the oven. Combine 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and reserved turkey bones in a large roasting pan. Transfer to the bottom rack in the oven and roast until well-browned, about 45 minutes.

  6. In a large saute pan, heat remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and the butter over medium-high heat. Add the chilled turkey breasts, and cook until golden brown all over. Remove and set aside. Repeat with the chilled legs; reserving any accumulated fat in the saute pan. Remove the roasted turkey bones from the oven, and set wing pieces aside. Add wine to the roasting pan; stirring to loosen bones from the bottom of the pan. Add shallots, celery, carrots, herbs, and zest to the roasting pan, stirring to combine. Place the browned breasts and legs on top of the roasted bones. Return to the oven, and roast for 45 minutes, basting every 15 minutes, with the pan juices. Remove the breasts; set aside and keep warm. Continue to roast the legs, basting and turning, until the legs are cooked through, 1 to 1 1/2 hours more. When done, remove the legs; set aside and keep warm. Strain the pan juices through a fine sieve, skimming off any excess fat, and keep warm.

  7. Meanwhile, prepare roasted vegetables. In a large heavy-bottomed roasting pan over medium-high heat, melt butter with olive oil. Add the reserved wing pieces, squash, endive, onions, celeriac, mushrooms, and herbs. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the reserved fat, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are lightly browned. Drizzle with honey. Transfer to the top rack in the oven, and roast until the squash and the endive are fork-tender, about 1 hour.

  8. Remove the twine from the breasts and legs. Slice crosswise into 3/4-inch slices. Arrange the slices on the platter with the roasted vegetables. Drizzle with the strained pan juices. Serve remaining juices on the side.

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