I used a variation of a proven perfect turkey recipe.
we originally read about this recipe in a "cook's illustrated" magazine.
the variation was that instead of salted pork we used 1/4" cut bacon.
we made this change to enhance our drippings stock.
with everyone bringing a dish, an uncle brought a proper giblet gravy that he made before hand.
this meant that i would have more drippings for a soup stock that some of the left over turkey would go into.
1- pierce the skin with fork
2- insert herbed butter under the skin
3- wrap the bird with 1/4' cut bacon
4- broth, neck and seasonings went into the pan
5- add stuffing, but not too packed
6- cover in cheese cloth, then in foil
7- 350 degrees until the thickest part of the breast was 140 degrees
8- after about 3 hours i removed the foil and bacon and turned the oven up to 425 degrees
9- quickly cut up the bacon into small pieces and added into the pan juice
10- cooked until the thickest part of the leg was 165 degrees.
i did make one mistake with this bird in that i left the legs tied.
shouldn't of done this. the bird was a bit pinker in the joint than i wanted.
i am not afraid of the modern world so i did a quick microwave fix to just the legs.
the microwave didn't affect the juiciness.
what is a large meal with out at least one issue.
perfect turkey cooking is always a work in process. a large bird with two distinct meats.
the breasts melted in the mouth and i am already for some turkey stew and soup!