Bacon-Basted Dutch Oven Turkey

cindy sandberg


I bought a very small young turkey and decided to try to experiment with cooking it stovetop in my cast iron dutch oven. I stuffed the cavity with fruit and vegetables and herbs and rubbed the whole thing with bacon grease(yes! bacon grease-another experiment!), salt and pepper. Browned, then braised it. It was so good! Full of flavor, juicy and falling off the bone tender! May never roast another one in the oven again! This would also be good cooked outdoors over an open fire, with charcoal or on a camp stove

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15 Min


3 Hr


Stove Top


1 small
young turkey(8-10lb.-mine was 8)--could also use a turkey breast or a chicken
1 small
apple cut in thick slices
1 small
onion, quartered
celery stalks, cut in 1/2-1 in. pieces
1 medium
carrot, cut in 1/2-1 in. pieces
a few
leaves or stalks of fresh herbs(i used sage and rosemary)
1/4 c
+ 1tbs. bacon grease(or olive oil, butter, etc.)
salt and pepper

Directions Step-By-Step

Rinse the turkey well and pat dry with paper towels. Put the 1T of bacon grease in the cavity along with the herbs, apple, onion, celery and carrot. (if it won't all fit, just throw any leftover chunks in the pot when the turkey has been browned and is ready to braise)
Rub some of the remaining bacon grease between the skin and the meat of the breast. Rub the turkey all over with the rest of the bacon grease, then salt and pepper well.
Add 1T of butter or olive oil to a heavy dutch oven, heated on med. heat. Place the turkey in breast side up and brown the bottom of the turky(about 6 or 7 min.) Flip the turkey breast side down, put the lid on the dutch oven tightly and cook for 30 min. Pour 1c of chicken stock(or water) around the bird, lower the heat to med-low, replace the lid and simmer for about 2-2 1/2 hrs., until very tender, basting once or twice during last half hour of braising.
Remove to a platter, let rest 10 min. or so, then carve or pull meat from bones.(Mine was practically falling off the bone, and, other than the breast, did not need carved with a knife!)
Drizzle some of the cooking liquid on the meat and cover until ready to serve. Thicken the rest of the liquid for gravy.

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Turkey
Main Ingredient: Turkey
Regional Style: American