We know that Thanksgiving is going to look different this year, and for the most part that means that our guest lists will be much smaller than previous Thanksgiving celebrations. For the past few years we have had so many people come to Thanksgiving that we make a traditional roasted turkey and our famous deep fried turkey. To mix things up this year we decided to try out roasting a turkey breast. Turkey breast is traditionally dry, so we are really doing things up and wrapping it in bacon! The result is an ultra savory turkey breast, with a crispy bacon crust that we cannot get enough of. This half turkey breast serves 4-6 people depending on the size of the rest of your dinner menu. It is a snazzy main course if you have just a handful of people at the table this year, but would also be a great addition to a whole turkey if you need a little something extra. We love this recipe because it takes just over 2 hours to make from prep to serving, compared to a whole turkey that can take 2-3 times longer to make. While the turkey breast is resting we heat the other side dishes, so that everything is warm and ready to go by dinnertime.
Bacon Wrapped Turkey Breast
A delicious alternative to a traditional Thanksgiving turkey!
- 1/2 turkey breast, skin and rib bone removed
- 4 tbs butter, room temperature
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tsp fresh thyme, minced
- 2 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
- zest of one lemon
- 12 oz thick cut, applewood smoked bacon
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Make the compound butter. Whip the butter, garlic, thyme, rosemary, and lemon zest with a hand mixer until it is well combined. Set aside.
- Lay the bacon in a single layer on a clean cutting board, make sure the bacon is touching and there is very little space between the pieces. If the bacon has a thicker end and a thinner end, flip every other piece of bacon so that the width of bacon is even on both sides. Use a rolling pin to roll the bacon, thinning it out to make a layer that will easily surround your turkey breast. You want it at least 1/3 longer than it started.
- Season the turkey breast very well on all sides with salt and pepper. Use your hands to coat the turkey breast on all sides with the garlic and herb butter.
- Lay the turkey breast top side down on the center of the bacon. Criss cross and overlap the bacon, using toothpicks to help secure it in place, so that you have a full coating around the turkey breast and that as little of the turkey is showing as possible. Don’t worry about how ugly the toothpicks look, you will remove them in plenty of time before serving. What matters most is that you have thoroughly secured the bacon around the turkey.
- Lay the turkey breast skin side down (toothpicks up) in a Pyrex baking sheet and bake the turkey for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, flip the turkey breast and cook an additional 30-40 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 160-165 degrees at the thickest part of the turkey. If the bacon isn’t crispy and brown when the turkey has finished cooking, remove the toothpicks and broil the turkey breast on high heat until the bacon is the color and crispiness you desire.
- Remove the turkey breast from the oven and gently tent with foil. Let the turkey rest for about 20 minutes before removing any remaining toothpicks, slicing, and serving. Any drippings from the turkey can be used to make a traditional gravy, if desired.