We’ve all experienced that roomful of guests waiting for a turkey that just doesn’t seem to finish cooking. And when it does, the breast is burnt to a crisp, while the thighs are still pale.
There’s an easy solution that greatly reduces cooking time, and also helps the turkey cook more evenly. It’s called spatchcocking. Spatchcocking is simply removing the backbone of the bird, which allows it to be butterflied – essentially flattening it on your baking sheet to allow quicker and more even roasting.
To spatchcock a turkey, begin with the breast side down.
- Using very strong kitchen scissors or poultry shearers, cut along both sides of the backbone to remove it. (Save the backbone for making gravy or stock!)
- Turn the turkey over and pull the thighs out away from the body of the bird.
- Using the palms of your hands, press down hard on the ridge of the breast bone until the turkey is flattened on your baking sheet.
- Cut off the tips of the wings to prevent burning.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pat the bird dry with paper towels. Lightly rub the skin with olive oil, and then season with your favorite spices.
I’ve included one of my favorite poultry rubs. Roast until the temperature in the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165 degrees. Remove from oven and let rest for 20 minutes before carving.
- 1/2 C Paprika
- 2 T Celery Salt
- 1 T Brown Sugar
- 1 T White Sugar
- 1 T Onion Powder
- 1 T Garlic Powder
- 1 T Lemon Pepper
- 2 tsp MSG
- 2 tsp Dry Mustard
- 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper