My husband and I enjoy watching the Cooks Country Magazine show on our local PBS channel. They cook American food and do it again and again until they perfect the method. I have made many of their recipes and indeed they all have been perfect in both taste and methodology.
They had a Thanksgiving Special and talked about "Barding" your turkey which in the old days was the only way to keep it from drying out, as their ovens did not remain at a constant temperature. You essentially cover it with Salt Pork, Cheesecloth and then Foil and bake. They took an old method and re-invented it for today cooks.
I have to say that even though it is a bit of effort, it was the most flavorful and moist turkey I have ever eaten, and everyone agreed. I made two for separate occasions on Thanksgiving and it was incredible. I will never make turkey another way again.
Turkey covered with Salt Pork
You will need one 2-yard package of cheesecloth for this recipe.
1 package cheesecloth (see note)
4 cups cold water
1 turkey , 12 to 14-pounds (my turkey was 19 lbs)
1 pound salt pork , cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (this may be hard to find, we finally got it at New Seasons Market) (I have no idea if you could use bacon, Cooks Country advises against it)
For the turkey: Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Remove cheesecloth from package and fold into 18-inch square. Place cheesecloth in large bowl and cover with water.
Tuck wings behind back and arrange turkey, breast-up, on V-rack set inside roasting pan.
Prick skin of breast and legs of turkey all over with fork, cover breast and legs of turkey with salt pork, top with soaked cheesecloth (pouring any remaining water into roasting pan), and cover cheesecloth completely with heavy-duty aluminum foil.
Roast turkey until breast meat registers 140 degrees, 2½ to 3 hours. Remove foil, cheesecloth, and salt pork and discard. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees. Continue to roast until breast meat registers 165 degrees and thigh meat registers 175 degrees, 40 to 60 minutes longer.