Spatchcocked Turkey [RECIPE]


Sliced turkey breast with fork

Spatchcock your turkey to shave hours off the cook time of traditional preparation.
(Photo by Jathan Fink, Jadeworks Entertainment)

Preparing a turkey dinner used to take me up to a week of prep time, which included thawing a frozen bird, brining the poor creature, then roasting it for what seemed like days. By the time the turkey was actually on the table, I was ready to eat something else entirely. But now I purchase fresh birds from the butcher and spatchcock my turkey—which means I remove its backbone—for faster, more even cooking which dramatically reduces its time in the oven to about an hour.

PREP: 30 minutes
COOK: 1 hour
TOTAL TIME: 25 hours 30 minutes



  • 6 quarts of water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup Kosher salt


  • 12 pound turkey
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cubed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Prepare the brine the day before you plan to cook the turkey. Combine the water, sugar and salt in a large stock pot and bring the mixture to a boil until ingredients dissolve, then cool completely. Rinse bird, then submerge turkey into the brine and refrigerate for 24 hours. Drain and discard brine, then pat turkey dry with paper towels and transfer to a large cutting board.
  2. Preheat the oven to 475°F. Using kitchen shears, remove backbone and set aside. (The back may be used to make turkey stock at a later time.) Flip bird onto its back and push down on the breast to flatten the turkey, then flip it once more to season. Using clean hands, carefully separate the breast meat from the skin. Rub butter under the skin over the breast meat, careful not to tear the skin. Season the entire bird with salt and pepper.
  3. Lightly butter a large roasting pan and place the bird, skin side up, inside. Put the pan into the oven and cook for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350°F and continue cooking for another 50 to 60 minutes or until the turkey reaches an internal temperature of 160°F.
  4. Insert an instant read thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh to test for doneness. Remove the pan from the oven, and when the turkey is cool enough to handle, transfer it to a large, clean cutting board and allow it to rest at room temperature for  15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the pan gravy. Remove half the pan drippings, then heat the roasting pan on the stove top. Add chicken stock and using a small whisk, scrape up brown bits from bottom of pan. Stir in corn starch, salt and pepper and continue to cook until mixture comes to a boil and thickens, whisking constantly to remove lumps. Remove from heat and transfer gravy to a small bowl or gravy boat.
  6. To carve the turkey, remove the legs by pulling them away from the body and slicing through the connective tissue. Separate the thigh from each leg. Pop each wing out of its socket, then slice away from the body of the bird. Remove tips of wings and discard, then divide the wing into two separate pieces. Remove the breasts from the bird and cut into thin slices, then arrange all parts of the bird on a large plate or platter and drizzle with gravy; serve.

YIELDS: 8 to 10 servings

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

One Response to Spatchcocked Turkey [RECIPE]

  1. Jathan Fink says:

    Reblogged this on Jadeworks Entertainment and commented:

    Do you like to entertain but hate spending all day long in the kitchen cooking a turkey? Try spatchcocking your bird! This simple method will cut your shackles to the stove and reduce cook time to about an hour so you can feed your hungry friends fast and focus on your guests rather than on their dinner.

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