Everyone argues about the best way to cook the Thanksgiving turkey. Some like the standard roast, some try the esteemed beer can approach, others deep fry the best bird of the year, some even try pretzel breading their turkey!
In reality, there is probably not one "best" way to cook your turkey—different preparation leads to different taste. But if you want a quick and easy way to get moist meat with crispy skin, spatchcocking a turkey is for you!
Plus it is just fun to say, right?
Step 1: Clean the Turkey and Remove the Backbone
All photos courtesy of Serious Eats.
Rinse the inside and outside of your fully-thawed turkey and remove the giblets (make sure to set them to the side so you can use them to make delicious gravy for your mashed potatoes later!).
Pat the turkey dry with a paper towel and place it breast-side down. Beginning at the tail end, cut along the backbone with sharp shearing scissors. Cutting through bones can be tricky—if you have trouble, try making several little cuts instead of one big one per bone. And don't forget to preheat your oven to 450°.
Step 2: Open Her Up
Once the backbone is removed, open the turkey up as much as you can, removing any other excess fat.
Step 3: Break the Breastbone
Flip the turkey over and press down hard on its breast. You should hear two cracks. If you're having trouble breaking the bone, try once on each side of the bird or stand on a step stool for better leverage. The flatter the bird is, the more evenly it will cook and the crispier the skin will be!
Step 4: Get Ready to Roast
If You Have A Baking Sheet with a Raised Rack:
Line your rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and add chopped onions, carrots, celery, and thyme underneath the raised rack to add flavor and moisture! While any seasoning you like will work, we recommend a simple coat of olive oil with plenty of salt and pepper.
If You Do Not Have A Baking Sheet with a Raised Rack:
If you don't have a pan with a grate to raise the turkey, you can place it directly on the aluminum foil surface of a raised-edge baking sheet and forego the veggies and herbs.
When you place the bird on your sheet of choice, splay the thighs outward so the turkey lies flat. Tuck the wing tips behind the breast.
Keep an eye on the internal temperatures, turkeys that are spatchcocked cook up to 50% faster!
Step 5: Carve Your Cravings
This is the fun part! Once the deepest part of the breast reaches an internal temperature of 150°, it's time to kill those cravings. Carving a spatchcocked turkey is a little different than most—to see the complete instructions for preparation and carving, check out Serious Eats' recipe. It's time to eat!
Happy Thanksgiving from New Standard!
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