• I tried the Spatchcock method of roasting a turkey and it cut the cooking time down to 75 minutes.
  • Spatchcocking involves cutting out the backbone and roasting the bird flat.
  • The turkey was delicious, beautiful, easy to carve, and not that hard to make.

cooking turkey An intimidating process that can take hours—but spatchcocking, which involves slicing the bird’s spine and flattening it, is my new go-to strategy.

“Spatchcocking is great,” said chef Solomon Johnson, co-owner of the busdown and the fine-dining Pan-African concept, OKO. “It cuts the cooking time by about half and produces a really consistent product.”

Chef Mike Woods, Johnson’s business partner, agreed, saying, “It’s an easy and fast way to cook a bird while keeping it perfectly moist.” It also results in a turkey that is much easier to carve.

Here’s how spatchcocking a turkey was first done:

Just a heads up, before me are graphic images of cutting and preparing a raw turkey.

First, I prepared the turkey to cut

A raw turkey on a wooden cutting board.

It took a while for the turkey to thaw.

Chelsea Davis

Before you cook a turkey, it needs to be thawed. I bought an 11 1/2-pound turkey and soaked it in cold water overnight.

Once I thawed the bird, I took the gizzard bag and neck out of it. Keep in mind that the bag of gizzards is always in the turkey, even if you think you can’t find it. I’ve learned this the hard way.

The scariest part of this method was flattening the actual bird by cutting out the backbone

For first time visitors, Chef Nick Peters of batch and salty Recommend using kitchen shears to cut either side of the spine.

“Not many people should be hacking at a bird with a cleaver for the first time,” he said. “Plus if they have a weak kitchen knife they can break it.”

I did not have hair cutting scissors To cut the backbone, so I used a normal and very sharp knife.

A raw turkey gizzard.

You can keep the backbone and gizzards for stock.

Chelsea Davis

I put the bird breast-side down on a cutting board and slowly followed the bone on both sides until it came off. It took some work and patience.

Johnson tells me he usually saves the backbone to make a stock, which can be used as a base for homemade gravy.

A raw turkey was taken out.

I had to get some extra help to flatten the bird.

Chelsea Davis

Once the backbone is cut through, you should turn the bird over and press down on the cavity until it collapses. This part was kind of bothering me, so I got help from someone who was less irritable.

A flattened turkey.

After flattening the turkey, I was ready to carve it.

Chelsea Davis

This step helps the turkey cook evenly. Peters explained that when the bird is flattened, “the white and dark meats are cooked for closer to the same amount of time, resulting in an overall juicier bird.”

I season my turkey before it goes in the oven

Looks like a flattened turkey butter.

I put butter on the inside of the flap of skin, against the flesh.

Chelsea Davis

i peeled a head of garlicMash it lightly, and add it to about 3 tablespoons of soft, salted butter.

I gently separated the skin from the breasts with my hands, making sure not to tear it away from the breasts. i rubbed again garlic-butter mixture In those two pockets and within the skin of the legs and thighs.

next i coarsely chopped carrotscelery, onion, fennel, more unpeeled garlic and placed them in the bottom of my turkey tin.

Carrots and celery in a pan.

I dressed the bird with vegetables and sprinkled olive oil on it.

Chelsea Davis

i put turkey over vegetablesTuck thyme into crevices, drizzle it with olive oilAnd cover it with salt, pepper and a spice mix.

With spatchcocking, Peters said, you get crispy skin because it’s all exposed during cooking. So I also made sure to give a good dose of olive oil to the skin to ensure good browning.

The turkey cooked quickly, although I had to improve when it came to the taste

Turkey with vegetables and seasoning.

The vegetables weren’t fully cooked, so I continued to cook the bird until it was tender.

Chelsea Davis

First, I roasted the turkey at 450°F for 20 minutes. The turkey was starting to brown, but there was no pan juices to baste it with so I used store-bought bone broth instead.

I then reduced the heat to 425°F and cooked the turkey for another 30 minutes.

I cooked the turkey at 450°F for 25 minutes, basting a few times in between.

I didn’t have a meat thermometer so I poked a thigh and checked until the juices ran clear.

It was so easy to carve a turkey and it was delicious

Turkey cooked with spices.

I let the bird sit for about 15 minutes before carving.

Chelsea Davis

Typically, a stuffed turkey of about 11 pounds should take about three hours to cook. With this method, my turkey was ready in less than an hour and a half.

Peters also told me that boned turkeys are often easier to carve for first-timers because you won’t have to “navigate the thigh joints on a whole bird.”

he was right. Not only was the turkey easy to carve, but it was incredibly tender, juicy, and evenly browned and cooked through. I served it with a generous amount of betel juice and some cooked vegetables.

With All the Time You Save Cooking Turkey, You Can Make Some Too favors for a full feast,

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