- 1 large turkey breast (2-2.25kg)
- 600g thick cut unsmoked streaky bacon
FOR THE BRINE
- 30g fine sea salt
- 20g maple sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Rind and juice of a clementine
- 3 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 4 cloves
- 6 whole black peppercorns
- 1 lemon, quartered
- Small bunch of fresh thyme
- Small bunch of fresh sage
- 2 tsp finely ground black pepper
- 3 star anise
- 2 litres of water
FOR THE MAPLE GLAZE
- 100ml pure Canadian maple syrup (preferably dark syrup for its robust taste)
- 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp rapeseed or groundnut oil
TO PREP THE TURKEY
- Put all the brining ingredients in a large pan along with the water. Stir over medium heat for 15 minutes, until the sugar and salt have fully dissolved. Take off the heat and allow to completely cool to at least room temperature.
- To prepare the turkey breast, remove the skin, it should simply pull off with a little pressure. We usually keep the skin and any trimmed excess fatty bits to make a turkey gravy.
- Put your turkey in a large container and pour the brine over, making sure it is fully submerged. Transfer to the fridge and allow to brine for 24 hours before cooking.
FOR THE BACON WEAVE
- Set out 7-8 slices of bacon vertically, and just touching each other, on a large piece of parchment paper. The process involves laying strips of bacon horizontally across and flipping up every other vertical strip so you alternate and ‘weave’ between each slice.
- Try to avoid any gaps in between, so you get a full coverage of bacon.
FOR THE MAPLE GLAZE
- Put all the ingredients into a clean jar with a secure lid, shake vigorously until combined.
- Set aside and leave at room temperature until ready to use (you may need to give it another shake before you use it).
TO COOK THE TURKEY
- After 24 hours, remove the turkey from the bring and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Place the smooth side of the breast down into the centre of the bacon weave. Using the parchment paper, fold both sides over the breast and tuck in the bacon.
- Flip back over, neaten up any stray bits of bacon and you’re ready to either smoke on a BBQ or cook your turkey in the oven. We usually season with just cracked black pepper (no need for any salt).
SMOKE ON THE BBQ
- Set your grill up for indirect heat at around 250F/120-122C.
- If you have a fine grill, or silicon mesh baking sheet, set your bacon weaved turkey on that, with a grill pan underneath the grates to catch any juices. We like to use cherry wood for the colour and subtle flavour but any fruit wood will give a subtle and wonderful flavour to the turkey.
- Smoke your turkey breast for 3 – 4 hrs, depending on the consistency of heat.
- Set your oven at 160C, cook for around 2.5-3 hours. You really do need an instant read thermometer to let you know when the turkey is fully cooked. Aim for 75C in the thickest part of the breast.
GLAZE THE TURKEY
- Whichever cooking method you choose, glaze the turkey when it’s almost cooked, so around 70-72C.
- Simply, and slowly, pour the glaze over from the jar, using a little pastry or silicone brush to ensure the breast is fully coated in the glaze. Continue to cook the turkey until it reaches 75C.
- Rest your turkey for at least 30 minutes before carving and serving.
Switch up your Christmas dinner with this smoked turkey recipe! Glazed in maple syrup and wrapped in streaky bacon, this BBQ turkey is extremely rich in flavour and sure to delight on the big day. Truly the most indulgent Christmas turkey.
The Quebec Maple Syrup Producers are not in any way responsible for the identification or presence of allergens in recipes or for the classification of any recipe as vegetarian or vegan.
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