Once upon a time, Danny Meyer gave me his favorite recipe for turkey. This was after the iconic

Danny Meyer

Danny Meyer

restaurateur opened Union Square Cafe and Gramercy Tavern, two of New York City’s most beloved restaurants, but before he opened Eleven Madison Park, Tabla, Blue Smoke, Shake Shack and The Modern, the decidedly luscious dining room in the Museum of Modern Art.

As fitting America’s quintessential restaurateur, Danny’s turkey is not—not at all—not even remotely—run of the mill or traditional. He practically flash roasts his turkey, cooking it at a high heat covered with bacon, which lends a delicate porky flavor and keeps the turkey moist.

Talking turkey, Danny’s recipe gives cooks with time constraints just one more reason to be thankful on Thanksgiving.


1 fresh (11- to 12-pound) turkey


Coarsely cracked black pepper

About 6 sprigs fresh herb (sage, marjoram, thyme or a combination)

1 pound bacon, thinly sliced

Rinse turkey under cold running water and dry well inside and out. Sprinkle body cavity with salt and pepper. Place herb sprigs inside cavity. Do not truss turkey or close legs. Place turkey, breast up, on a rack in a large roasting pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Completely cover top of turkey with bacon, using the entire pound. Place turkey in a preheated 450-degree oven and roast until bacon is completely browned, about 35 minutes. Remove bacon from turkey (reserve bacon for another use).  Baste turkey well with bacon drippings. Insert a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the turkey thigh, not touching bone. Reduce heat to 425 degrees and continue roasting turkey, basting every 15 minutes with bacon drippings, until turkey registers 180 degrees on the meat thermometer, 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Remove turkey from oven and let stand for 20 minutes before slicing.

Yield: About 10 servings.