Thanksgiving is late this year, giving us an extra week to prepare for the big day of feasting.Thanksgiving is one of my absolute favorite days to enjoy with family. It’s a day we have my husbands and my family together to celebrate and give thanks for all we have. We host Thanksgiving at our home each year and look forward to enjoying the day with each other; laughing, sharing stories, and having a great time together.
Is it a hectic day..yes! Is there a ton of preparation that goes into the day…absolutely!
Each year I try to find ways to make the day less busy but still very enjoyable. The only sure-fire way I have found to do this, is by preparing as much as possible in advance of the day! Leaving all the cooking and table setting to the morning of Thanksgiving will make the day stressful and who wants that?!
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Set the table at least one or two days in advance of Thanksgiving. I typically use gold chargers HERE for the holiday and Fall cloth napkins HERE. These napkin rings HERE are so pretty and complement the setting beautifully.
Have the centerpiece prepared and set in place. Running to the grocery store to buy flowers at the last minute is time consuming and unnecessary.
I prepared a quick centerpiece consisting of live ornamental pumpkins mixed with faux and added in leaves and brass candlesticks HERE on top of a white table runner SIMILAR HERE. This centerpiece has been in my dining room for a month now. It probably won’t last until Thanksgiving, at which time I’ll replace it with fresh flowers (prepared well in advance) 😉
This year, I will cook as much of the food as possible before Thursday. I will bake a fresh turkey on Thanksgiving Day but prepare the sides in advance, this method seems to be the way to go to reduce last minute stresses.
I’m sharing a recipe of my favorite Thanksgiving Day Turkey, along with the perfect side dish that is a real crowd pleaser.
Champagne Turkey with Bacon Recipe
When I was growing up, my dad always used to wrap the turkey in bacon for Thanksgiving Day. I learned this little trick from him and use it each year. It’s gives the turkey extra flavor and keeps it moist throughout the cooking process. Baking the turkey in a bag cuts the baking time significantly and it bastes in champagne making it ever so tender.
For this recipe you will need the following:
- 1 (12 lb whole turkey) with neck and giblets removed
- 1/2 cup butter, cubed
- 2 apples, cored and halved
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 (16oz package applewood bacon)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 (750 milliliter bottle) of Champagne
- 1 Roasting Bag with zip tie
- 1 Tablespoon flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Rinse turkey, and pat dry. Gently loosen turkey breast skin, and insert pieces of butter between the skin and breast.
Place apples inside the turkey’s cavity. Sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
Lay the sliced bacon over the top of the turkey, covering as much of the turkey as possible, including the legs, lay the bacon in both directions. For a real elegant look, weave the bacon into a basket weave pattern, it looks amazing! Put 2 tablespoons flour inside the baking bag so the bag won’t burst. Tip: The drippings from the turkey make the best gravy.
Place turkey in a roasting bag, and pour Champagne over the inside and outside of the bird. Tie the bag close, and place turkey in a roasting pan with rack HERE. Cut six slits in the bag for the heat to escape.
Bake turkey approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hours in the preheated oven, or until the internal temperature is 180 degrees F when measured in the meatiest part of the thigh. Remove turkey from bag, and let stand for at least 20 minutes before carving. If you want a crispier crust, you can open the bag for the last 45 minutes of baking time.
This turkey is the best!! It’s so juicy and tender and the bacon is crisp and cooked to perfection. My handsome brother has the honor of cutting the bird each year.
The perfect side dish to compliment this fabulous turkey is French Scalloped Potatoes. My family requests this dish at every get together we have, it’s a real crowd pleaser and a definite go to for side dishes.
Do you have any tips for making the day stress free? I would love to hear them.
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