Spatchcock Turkey | The Recipe Critic
A Spatchcock turkey cooks faster and more evenly, and will be the most tender, juiciest turkey you’ve ever cooked! Roasted or smoked, this turkey will wow your guests on Thanksgiving Day.
I love Thanksgiving leftovers! The big meal is fun, but sometimes it can be stressful. I love waking up the next morning and having a fridge full of food to make fun meals. If you have leftover turkey, you have to try this Leftover Turkey Casserole or this delicious Turkey Pot Pie. I made sausage stuffing balls last year with leftover stuffing, they were a total hit!
Spatchcock Turkey Recipe
Why should you sprinkle your turkey? Lots of reasons! Spatchcocking involves fluttering it or removing the spine so the bird lies flat on the board. It causes the entire turkey to be spread more evenly across the roasting pan so it cooks faster and more evenly. This means less oven time and a wetter bird! It really is one of the best ways to cook turkey on Thanksgiving!
I’ve made turkey in different ways for the holidays. I really like the method of cooking a turkey in a bag, and I even used my air fryer to cook a juicy and delicious air fried turkey! Spatchcocking works for the oven, smoker, air fryer, or whatever you end up cooking your turkey in. It’s easy to do and I have lots of tips to help you become a spatchcocking pro. Especially when you use this brine, you will have the most delicious flavor and a delicious moist turkey for your holiday dinner!
There’s not much you need to do to cook an amazing turkey dinner. You can choose the size of turkey your family will need, but in this recipe, the cooking time and amount of ingredients is for a 12 to 14 pound chicken. See recipe card below for exact measurements.
- Turkey: This recipe is for a 12 to 14 pound turkey. You’ll crush the turkey, which means you’ll pry the legs out from under the bird, slicing through the belly and flattening the spine. It’s actually very simple! Be sure to remove the neck and giblet bag
- Turkey seasoning: About ⅓ C of seasoning will season a 10-14 lb turkey. If you have a larger turkey you will want to use more seasoning than this. This seasoning blend contains the perfect spices for a holiday turkey like rosemary, thyme, sage, parsley, garlic powder and of course salt and pepper. It has a few other things but that’s just to name the main ones!
- Rosemary, parsley, orange slices and cranberries: These are optional toppings. You can use them if you want, they make the plate really pretty and the smell of fresh herbs and fruits is amazing! But this is your Thanksgiving turkey, prepare it just the way you like it!
How to Spatchcock a Turkey
If you’ve ever coated a chicken, it’s the same process! A turkey en crapaudine is the way to go in my opinion, it cooks in less time and more evenly. It’s just as pretty on the plate and it stays juicy and delicious!
- Dry: Pat the turkey dry with a paper towel.
- To cut: Next, place the turkey breast side down on a baking sheet with a wire rack. Using very sharp kitchen scissors, cut along the spine from tail to neck. Cut along each side until removed. Discard the backbone or save it for broth.
- Hurry: Flip the turkey over and use your hands to press down firmly to flatten the ribs and crack the breastbone. Make sure the turkey is completely flat and place the legs on the baking sheet.
- To rub: Generously rub the turkey with the turkey seasoning.
Spatchcock roast turkey
- Bake: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cook the turkey for 20 minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature and bake at 400 degrees for about 1½ hours or until the thickest part registers 165 degrees on your meat thermometer.
- Rest: Remove turkey from oven and cover with foil. Let stand 10-20 minutes. Then cut and serve.
Spatchcock Smoked Turkey
- Preheat: Preheat your smoker to 240 degrees F.
- Smoke: Place the coated turkey in the smoker, skin side up. Smoke for 4 hours or until the thickest part reaches 165 degrees.
Tips for Spatchcocking a Turkey
If you’re not used to culling a bird and haven’t done anything before, here are some tips to help you feel confident on Thanksgiving!
- Watch a video: If you’ve read these instructions and still feel nervous, watch a video! There are plenty of videos on the internet showing professional chefs cooking a chicken, and this is no different. Watch a few to familiarize yourself with the process.
- Practice: If you’re worried about spoiling your turkey, buy a whole chicken and practice ahead! It’s smaller and cheaper, so there’s less pressure to get it right the first time!
- How to Carve a Spatchcock Turkey: It will have to be cut a little differently, but it’s not harder! First, remove the legs and wings. You will remove the entire leg, including the thigh at the joint. Next, separate the drumstick from the thigh. Then you will remove the breast from the bone and slice it. Finally, put it on a tray and voila!
I love Thanksgiving leftovers, and this turkey makes great meals for a few days! Follow these tips for storing your leftovers to get the most out of this recipe.
- In the refrigerator: Store your turkey in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Use it in other dishes to get the most out of your turkey!
To mash the turkey:
Pat the turkey dry with a paper towel.
Place turkey breast side down on a baking sheet with a wire rack. Using very sharp kitchen scissors, cut along the spine from tail to neck. Cut along each side until removed. Discard the backbone or save it for broth.
Turn the turkey over and use your hands to press down firmly to flatten the ribs. Make sure the turkey is completely flat and place the legs on the baking sheet.
Generously rub the turkey with the turkey seasoning.
Roast the turkey:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cook the turkey for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature and bake at 400 degrees for about 1½ hours or until thickest part reaches 165 degrees.
Remove turkey from oven and cover with foil. Let stand 10-20 minutes. Cut and serve.
To smoke the turkey:
Preheat your smoker to 240 degrees F.
Place the coated turkey in the smoker, skin side up. Smoke for 4 hours or until the thickest part reaches 165 degrees.
calories681calories (34%)Carbohydrates0.1gProtein105g (210%)Big27g (42%)Saturated fatseveng (35%)Polyunsaturated fatssevengMonounsaturated fat9gtrans fat0.3gCholesterol348mg (116%)Sodium541mg (23%)Potassium1084mg (31%)Fiber0.1gSugar0.3gVitamin A273UI (5%)Vitamin C0.003mgCalcium55mg (6%)The iron4mg (22%)
All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and is an estimate only. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and serving sizes per household.