Kevin Bacon’s Surprise Ingredient for Thanksgiving Turkey

Aside from being a movie star, podcast host and musician, Kevin Bacon is an enthusiastic home cook. So it’s no surprise that he has very specific ideas about the best way to prepare a Thanksgiving turkey.

“Last year we used mayonnaise on the turkey, and it was slamming,” says Bacon, 65, who is featured in PEOPLE’s Sexiest Man Alive issue, out now. “It gets really super crisp and moist inside.”

Bacon cites a recipe from food writer J. Kenji Lopez-Alt as his inspiration for using the staple condiment on the holiday bird. 

Not only is the mayonnaise “very easy to spread evenly on the turkey,” Lopez-Alt wrote in a 2022 New York Times article, the egg proteins in mayo “also aid in browning and crisping, producing a turkey with burnished, deeply browned skin.”

Williams + Hirakawa

The turkey is just one aspect of the celebration Bacon has planned for his family, which includes his wife of 35 years, Kyra Sedgwick, 58, and children Travis, 34, and Sosie, 31.

“We have a big Thanksgiving at our house, we always do,” says the Leave the World Behind actor, who is the youngest of six children—and plans to host upwards of 30 people this year in his New York apartment.

Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon.
Shayan Asgharnia

“Kyra’s got a big family, I’ve got a big family. Everyone comes on Wednesday and we just start to do some cooking, and then the cooking continues, absolute bedlam all morning,” he adds. “We have the parade on the little tiny kitchen TV, the kids are running around like lunatics.”

Bacon has been an avid home cook since his days as a struggling young actor in New York City, but he isn’t much of a recipe follower. He says he’s more “loosey goosey” in the kitchen than Sedgwick.

“Now, here’s the thing about me as a cook. I have no idea about measurements. I just never measured things,” explains the actor. “[Kyra] likes to have the recipe and read it, and follow it. I rarely follow a recipe. I love recipes because I learn something new, I get inspired by something. I like that stuff, but I generally adjust it.” 

Still, last year’s turkey technique seems to have some staying power. “Every year we do something different, but I think I might have to go back to that again,” says Bacon. “It was really good.”

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