8 to 10 servings
1. In a large slope-sided sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat the oil until it shimmers. Cook the diced bacon, stirring frequently until the fat is partially rendered and the bacon is lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain the potatoes and add them, along with the onions, to the pan; cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are translucent and the potatoes are just cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the bread, parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper, 2 cups of the stock, and the eggs, combining them well.
2. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Place a V-shaped roasting rack in a large flameproof roasting pan. Fill the turkey's cavity with the stuffing. Tie the legs together tightly with kitchen twine. Place the turkey, breast up, on the rack. Arrange the bacon slices over the breast, covering it completely, then cover with aluminum foil. Roast the turkey: Pour the remaining 2 cups of stock into the pan. Bake the turkey for 3 hours. Remove the foil, saving it for tenting later. Remove and discard the bacon. Increase the temperature to 400°F and roast for 1 hour more. The turkey should be a deep golden brown and a metal cake tester inserted into the thickest part of the thigh should feel hot to the touch when pressed against your lip. (An internal temperature of 165°F if using a meat thermometer.) Transfer the turkey to a cutting board and cover loosely with the aluminum foil to rest for at least 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, pour the pan juices into a fat separator or measuring cup. Return 1/4 cup of fat to the roasting pan and skim off and discard the rest, leaving only the pan juices. Place the pan over medium heat and use a flat-edged wooden spatula to stir the flour into the fat. Add the stock slowly, scraping up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan and stirring well so no lumps form. Add the pan juices, garlic, and salt and simmer for several minutes until the gravy is thickened and the flour is cooked. Strain the gravy through a fine-mesh sieve into a saucepan and keep it warm, covered, over very low heat, stirring occasionally.
4. When you are ready to eat, transfer the turkey to a platter. Pour the gravy into a gravy boat. Carve the turkey at table, removing the legs whole and cutting the drumsticks from the thighs, then slicing along both sides of the breast. Pass the gravy and your chosen side dishes to your guests.
MetroCooking DC 2014