Save time and oven space this holiday season with my foolproof recipe for Spatchcock Turkey! Learn how to spatchcock a turkey, cook it in half the time, and with only a handful of ingredients. This turkey is ready in less than 2 hours, freeing up precious oven space to make delicious sides or desserts for Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Spatchcock Turkey Recipe
When it comes to the holidays, turkey is on everyone’s minds. How can it not be? Moist, juicy, and tender meat, paired with a crispy brown skin that comforts us at first bite, it’s the star of the show! However, what is also on our mind, is how long it’s going to take and how many other things we need to get done before everyone gets there! Not anymore.
This recipe for spatchcock turkey is a convenient way to cut your cooking time in half, freeing up the oven and allowing you to focus on my favorite part – the sides! Made with a handful of simple ingredients, including my favorite fresh herbs, this turkey is flavorful, delicious, and most importantly EASY!
Why Make A Spatchcock Turkey
- Cuts Cooking Time In Half – It only takes 1 hour and 45 minutes to cook a spatchcock turkey!
- Juicy Turkey – No more dried meat!
- Crispy All Around – No more soggy turkey skin anywhere!
- Easier To Carve
- Cooks Evenly All Around
- Frees Up Precious Oven Space allowing you to make all sort of delicious side dishes and pies.
Did you know that if you spatchcock a turkey you’re cutting down the cooking time MAJORLY! Rejoice, we need that oven space! The holidays don’t have to be stressful, that’s why I’m giving you this foolproof recipe for spatchcock turkey! Made in half the time, with all of the flavor, super juicy meat, crispy skin all around, you don’t have to worry about the turkey. I’ve got you covered.
Here’s What You’ll Need
- Turkey – I used a 10-12 pound thawed turkey, keep in mind that difference sized turkeys will vary in cooking time!
- Olive Oil – Substitute with sunflower, safflower, or avocado oil.
- Fresh Herbs – We are using a combination of fresh sprigs of rosemary, thyme, and sage leaves. Make sure to chop them up! I think it is imperative to use fresh herbs for this recipe as it really adds to the flavor of the turkey.
- Garlic – Fresh is best, use as much as you like, the more the better! Minced.
What Is Spatchcock Turkey?
Spatchcocking is a really simple and effective technique of breaking down a turkey. To spatchcock a turkey basically means to butterfly the meat and remove the backbone. As a result, this speeds up the roasting time, it basically cuts the time in half and the great thing is you end up with an evenly cooked bird every single time. While this looks complicated, it’s super easy to do!
Step-By-Step Instructions On How To Spatchcock A Turkey
Remove The Backbone
Place the turkey breast-side down and the legs towards you on a large plastic cutting board. Use a pair of sharp kitchen shears to cut up along each side of the backbone, cutting through the rib bones as you go.
Open the turkey out and turn it over then flatten the breastbone with the heel of your hand, by pressing down so that the meat is all one thickness. Cut the wing tips off as well. Congrats, you’re done!
Season Your Turkey
You’ll want to season your turkey generously all around. Always pat the turkey dry with paper towels, this will ensure that the butter or oil mixture will stick to the skin.
In a small bowl mix the olive oil with the herbs, garlic, salt and pepper. Using a brush, brush the olive oil mixture over the inside of the turkey, flip over and generously brush the outside of the turkey.
I also love to make a compound butter with different herbs, garlic and other spices. You’ll want to make sure you get that butter in all the nooks and crannies. Make sure you insert some butter under the skin as well for ultimate flavor.
Roasting A Spatchcock Turkey
A spatchcock turkey will take way less time to cook than a full turkey. Even if you’re cooking a large 15 pound turkey, you can still cook it in about 2 hours. That’s half the time it would normally take to cook a whole turkey!
First, you’ll need to preheat your oven to 425°F. Place the oven rack in the middle position of your oven. The high temperature is what’s going to help cook our turkey fast and ensure it turns out crispy every time.
Place the seasoned spatchcock turkey on a baking sheet and transfer the baking sheet to the oven. Roast the turkey for 1 ¼ hours to 1 ½ hours or until the thickest part of the thigh reaches 185°F and the turkey breast reaches 170°F.
Baste, baste, baste! Baste the turkey every 20-30 minutes with the turkey drippings. If you don’t have a turkey baster, use a large spoon, just make sure you don’t burn yourself. Simply tip the roasting pan to gather some turkey drippings and drizzle over the turkey.
Rest Before Carving
Finally, make sure to let your turkey rest before carving it. Don’t rush carving it, it’s super important to wait. Why? Resting allows all those delicious juices in the turkey to redistribute throughout the meat, locking in all that flavor and succulence.
To do so, remove the baking sheet from the oven and cover the turkey loosely with foil. Let the turkey rest for at least 15 minutes before carving and serving.
How Do I Know When My Turkey Is Cooked
My biggest tip is to always use a meat thermometer. This is the most secure way to ensure you cook your turkey to the right temperature.
To check for doneness, insert the thermometer close to, but not touching the thigh bone. If it reads 185°F in the thigh and 170°F in the breast, it’s done and it’s ready to serve. Don’t forget to let the turkey rest first before carving it.
How To Carve A Turkey
What You’ll Need
- A sharp chef’s knife works great, but you can also use a carving knife.
- A big plastic cutting board with a damp paper towel beneath it to ensure it doesn’t move around.
- A serving platter and tongs might be useful.
Step-By-Step Guide To Carving A Turkey
- As I already mentioned, it’s very important to let the turkey rest first for at least 15 to 20 minutes.
- Set up your carving station, by first placing the plastic cutting board with a damp paper towel beneath it on your work surface. Place a serving platter next to the cutting board and ready your knife and tongs.
- Remove the leg and thigh from each side by cutting at the joints. Then run the knife between the thigh and drumstick and place on a serving platter.
- Slice through the skin on top of the turkey along the breastbone and cut through the breast meat along the rib bone. Cut into slices if preferred. Place the breast on a platter.
- Pull the wings back as you did with the legs and cut at the joint. Place on the platter.
How To Serve
Now, I’m not saying you can’t enjoy this for a weeknight meal or special occasion, but this bird is definitely a holiday staple! Whether it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter – you’ll want this recipe. Serve alongside your favorite sides and you’ll have one table full of happy bellies.
Expert Tips And Tricks
- Use very sharp kitchen shears. It’s important they are very sharp so that you can easily cut through the skin and bones to remove the backbone.
- Don’t throw away the backbone. Use it later for making turkey gravy or use it to make delicious broths or stocks.
- Use fresh herbs! They make all the difference.
- Baste your turkey every half hour or so! Basting will not make your turkey more moist, but it will promote even browning of the skin.
- You can make a compound butter with herbs, garlic and smoked paprika, and spread it under the skin for extra flavor and yumminess.
- Get an instant meat thermometer! Trust me, it will be a life saver!
- I kept the seasoning super simple and herbaceous, but feel free to play around with other spices/herbs to make this recipe your own!
If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers from this turkey, they can be used in a ton of dishes! Store them in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
Use leftovers for turkey noodle soup, sandwiches, pasta or shepherd’s pie!
Make sure to let your turkey cool completely before you freeze it! Place individual pieces into freezer bags or an airtight container. If using freezer bags, remove as much air as possible from the bag as you slide the zipper closed. Leftovers will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
More Related Recipes
- Instant Pot Turkey Breast
- Turkey Meatballs
- Spatchcock Chicken
- Turkey Bites
- Brined Roast Turkey Breast
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