This should be my husband’s post as he is the one that spatchcocked the turkey. But he wants to remain the chef advisor and taste taster and for that I am grateful. Anyway, I read about spatchcocking first in the November issue of Bon Appetit magazine. In short the turkey is butterflied and cooked skin side up. And by butterflied the backbone is removed so the bird can be flattened. This method will give you perfectly browned and crispy skin and keep the meat moist. It also cooks in half the amount of time.
The turkey was purchased from Trader Joe’s, 14 pounds, brined and all natural. You could really see the difference in the meat, both raw and after the turkey was cooked. The meat just looked better, the dark meat was a deeper color than the frozen birds we had purchased from supermarkets in the past and it certainly tasted better.
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
Now to spatchcock the turkey- Place turkey skin side down using poultry shears to cut along both sides of the backbone. (Here is an instance when having the right tool made all the difference, as this step only took a few minutes). Next open up the turkey; then using the tip of a knife, score along the dark oblong bone in the middle of the breast. Turn the turkey skin side up and press down strongly with the heel of your hand in the center of the breast. You should hear a crack and feel the keel bone give way. Rub the spice mixture all over the bird. Place skin side up on a wire rack, inside of a rimmed baking sheet, in the refrigerator uncovered for 6 to 18 hours. We did not read this until the day we prepared the bird, so ours was only left for 4 hours. (Note to self: Once again read entire instructions).
Ingredients for basting:
1 teaspoon aniseed
1/2 cup oil
4 strips of orange peel (without the pith)
Ingredients for veggies roasting pan:
2 medium onions (quartered)
4 large carrots (peeled and halved)
4 celery stalks (halved)
3 heads garlic (cut in half and loose skins rubbed off)
1/2 cup water
Brush turkey with oil, add ½ cup water to roasting pan, and roast turkey for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temp to 350F, and continue to roast, brushing with oil every 20 minutes, for approximately another hour, or when an instant-read thermometer registers 165. Transfer to platter, tent with foil, and let rest at least 30 minutes.
This recipe has been adapted from Bon Appetit, magazine, November Issue.