Posts Tagged With: bacon-wrapped turkey breast

Smoked Turkey with Fruit Stuffing and Bacon

Thanksgiving was over two weeks ago now. I kind of feel like Rip Van Winkle. That might be because I spent the first half of that time in an amnesiac state cooking, eating, shopping, eating, Christmas decorating… and eating. And then the cold that I had so cavalierly, so foolishly thought I could avoid — even though it had brought down every other member of my house — well, it decided it was time to show me who was boss. It kicked my ass; I slept a lot and rediscovered my love for Nyquil.

Which is all to say, dearies, that I am back from the dead and I have a hell of a turkey recipe to share with you. There are not many things in the world that would make me get up at 6:15 a.m. This is one of them. I had a little company as I fired up the Big Green Egg, though…

A boy and his dog

While my Egg was coming up to 375 degrees, I removed my 6 lb turkey breast from the refrigerator, where it has been sitting in a simple salt and brown sugar brine for about 24 hours.

Turkey Brine

After a good rinsing, I pounded the turkey breast a bit with a mallet to even it out. Then it was time to spread the simple stuffing on top: I used one finely diced peeled apple mixed with 1/4 cup each golden raisins, chopped celery, and chopped walnuts.

Apple Stuffing

A careful roll and it looked like this:

Stuffed Turkey Breast

I find life is much easier if I lay out my butcher twine and then place the bacon I will be braiding on top.

Bacon Braid

Then all I have to do is carefully move my turkey roll over and start wrapping the bacon all around. Thorough and tight bundling with the butcher’s twine keeps everything in place.

Bacon Braid

And onto the smoker it goes. After about an hour, I rotated it for even cooking, inserted a temperature probe, and tented it with foil to keep the bacon from getting too charred.

Smoked Turkey Breast

As the internal temp approached the desired 165ºF (about 30 minutes later), I uncovered the turkey and took a peek. It was looking a bit dry for my liking, so I whipped together some cranberry juice and apricot preserves to make a basting sauce. (I would have preferred apple jelly and apple juice but you gotta go with what you have and it added a nice finish.) I brushed it all over and then dumped the last of the preserves on top, where they melted into a yummy, shiny glaze.

Bacon-wrapped Turkey Breast

My temperature probe told me we were at 160ºF, so I removed my lovely turkey from the heat and let it rest under a cozy foil blanket for a bit and finish cooking. This was the last purty shot I got…

Smoked Stuffed Turkey Breast

And then it was bundled up and transported to my sister’s house for Thanksgiving lunch — along with the requisite (and amazing) sweet potato casserole and some Pioneer Woman creamy mashed potatoes.

If there is one thing we know how to do in my family, it is eat. My aunt always says that you know you are one of us if you can’t carry a tune in a bucket and you never met a meal you didn’t like. There was plenty to like about this turkey, so I hope you’ll give it a spin.

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Bacon-Wrapped Turkey Breast with Cornbread Stuffing

Could there be more good things in that headline? How about if you knew that the bacon is jalapeno bacon? And the cornbread stuffing is loaded with Mexican spice? And the whole turkey breast is smoked for two hours? Well, hold onto your hats, sweeties, because I am about to share with you the best dish I have made yet on my Big Green Egg and possibly the best thing I have ever cooked.

When Al at Barbeques Galore was selling me the whole store, he showed me Weber’s Way to Grill cookbook. Specifically, he expertly flipped to page 169 and showed me this recipe. (Well, a version of this recipe.) I don’t know how many Weber cookbooks Al has sold this way but I’m bettin it’s a lot. Cause this is one pretty dish. And I am happy to report that it tastes even better than it looks.

You start by putting the smooth side of the turkey breast facing down on a cutting board and opening up the turkey breast by cutting down the center — but not all the way through. Then, you cover with plastic wrap and pound that sucker to about a 1-inch thickness.

Turkey Breast

This is a 5 lb turkey breast. I was looking for a 2-3 lb breast, but this was all I could find.                                                                    It worked out since everyone ate about twice as much as usual.

Then you spread your cornbread stuffing all over the middle, leaving a border around the edges. I cooked up and crumbled some trusty Jiffy cornbread.

Cornbread Stuffing

Season it with a bevy of Mexican spices and throw in some chicken broth to moisten it up a bit.


Roll the breast lengthwise to create a cylinder.

Turkey Breast

Then arrange your bacon slices in tightly placed parallel strips, overlapping the ends of 2 slices to make each stripe. Place the rolled turkey breast in the middle of the center of the bacon.

Stuffed Turkey Breast

I laid my butcher twine down before I started overlapping the bacon on top to make it easier to tie the breast up at the end.

Crisscross the bacon around the turkey. Secure with butcher’s twine.

Bacon-wrapped Turkey Breast

I heard about Hirsch’s jalapeno bacon through Artizone and, let me tell you, it is some good stuff. It spiced up the turkey quite nicely.

Place over a disposable foil pan to catch the bacon grease; cook over indirect high heat until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. (For my 5 lb. breast, I cooked it at 425 degrees for just over 2 hours.) Use apple wood chips for a more pronounced smoky flavor.

Bacon-wrapped Turkey

Flip about halfway through and tent with foil if your bacon starts getting too crispy.

Remove the twine and cut into 1-inch slices.

Bacon-wrapped Turkey

I swear to you this dish is worth any effort. It looks gorgeous and tastes great. I’m not a big turkey fan and I had seconds and then ate on the leftovers for awhile. Okay, enough sellin you on how great it is… here is the ingredient list:

Bacon-Wrapped Turkey Breast with Cornbread Stuffing



3 cups crumbled cornbread

1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth

2 tsps each granulated garlic, onion powder, chili powder, and cumin

1 tsp each salt, ground pepper, and paprika


1.5 lbs bacon (preferably jalapeno or other spicy bacon)

5 lb turkey breast

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