Herb & Bacon Crusted Turkey with Ghost Pepper Glaze


1 12-14 lb. organic turkey
2 oranges – sliced
1 lemon – sliced
1 tsp. fine sea salt
1 tsp. organic white pepper
1 tsp. organic poultry seasoning
8 twigs of rosemary
1 medium shallot, diced
8 Tbsp. butter, softened
8 strips organic bacon
2 cups organic chicken stock
1 jar Akaka Falls Farm Passion Fruit Ghost Pepper



Roasting pan
20 inches unbleached cooking twine


1 bunch organic parsley, chopped


Step 1- Preheat the oven to 275°F. Remember to move the oven rack to the bottom first.

Step 2- Place slices from 2 oranges and 1 lemon so that they cover the bottom center of the roasting pan.

Step 3- Rinse the turkey and place it in the roasting pan on top of the orange and lemon slices, turkey breast side up.

Step 4- Sprinkle the turkey with white pepper and poultry seasoning.

Step 5- Mix the rosemary and diced shallots in a food processor until minced. Add the softened butter and mix until incorporated.

Step 6- Stuff 1/2 of the softened butter herb mixture underneath the turkey breast skin. Gently pull the skin away from the breast by placing your hand between the skin and the breast meat.

Step 7- Pat the remaining 1/2 of the butter mixture on the outside of the turkey, on top of the skin. Sprinkle sea salt on top of the butter mixture.

Step 8- Stuff the cut ends of lemon and orange slices inside turkey cavity.

Step 9- Tie the legs with cooking twine. The easiest way to do this is to tie one leg in a knot and then wrap the string around the second leg. Next, pull the string tight and tie the end of the first knot to the second end. Cut off the excess string. Always use unbleached twine, unbleached baking cups, and unbleached parchment paper when cooking. Do you really want to add bleach to your food? I don’t!

Step 10- Cut the organic bacon slices in half lengthwise and place the bacon in a crosshatch pattern on top of the turkey. Leave plenty of open turkey skin to get brown and crispy. Tuck the wings’ tips under the body of the turkey to prevent them from burning. Pour chicken stock into the bottom of the pan to keep the turkey moist and prevent the bottom of the pan from burning. Now place the turkey in the oven and bake for 3 hours at 275°F. This recipe is for a 12-14 lb. turkey. If you are cooking a larger turkey, you should add 20 minutes per pound during the initial 3-hour cooking period.

Step 11- Remove the turkey from the oven and pour 1/2 to 1 jar of Steve’s Akaka Falls Farm Passion Fruit Ghost Pepper jam over the entire turkey (use 1/2 jar for mild, 3/4 jar for medium, and the entire jar for hot). Place the turkey back in the oven and raise the temperature to 325°F. Bake another 20 minutes until the internal temperature of the breast meat is 150°F. Shut off the oven and let the turkey sit for 30 minutes to rest. The turkey will continue to cook in the oven and the internal temperature will increase to 165°F. It is easier to cook the turkey longer if needed than to recover from an overcooked, dry bird.

Step 12- Remove the turkey from the oven and let it rest for 20 minutes before cutting. While the turkey is resting, pour the juices from the bottom of the pan all over the top with a small ladle every 3 or 4 minutes.

Step 13- When carving the bird, cut out the left and right breast meat as one large chunk and move to a cutting board to slice. Try slicing the turkey into thick slices, as this makes a big difference in juiciness. (I think I made up that word!) The secret is to place each turkey slice into the juices to continue soaking in the wonderful flavor.



A word of warning … this turkey is so juicy that it can be hard to get the white breast meat to the holiday table. You will want to eat every slice you cut and lick your fingers all the way.

I personally found that the skin of the turkey with the ghost pepper was a little too spicy with the full jar. The meat was perfect, but the skin with sauce directly on it was too spicy for me. However, I am normally a 1 out of 5 for my spicy limit at a good Indian or Thai restaurant. If you like spicy (like my husband), you will think the full jar of ghost pepper jam is perfect.

The big secret is to serve the turkey in a deep-dish pan with a good inch of turkey juices. The juices are so good that you don’t even want to make gravy out of them. You just want to use the juices unadulterated.

When storing the extra turkey, pour all the extra juices on top of the cut-up turkey. This will keep the turkey juicy for leftovers that you will enjoy and look forward to for days. I like to use glass Pyrex containers with plastic lids.

For extra credit: Stock made from these bones and extra skin will be amazing!

So delicious! Enjoy!

 recipe courtesy of

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