Knowing how to spatchcock a turkey is the latest method in poultry preparation; this question is arguably as popular as askinghow to season a turkey. In doing this, your bird will cook more quickly and evenly, with delicious results to boot. The skin will be crispier than usual and the meat will be moist, so it’s well worth the effort.
If you’re new to spatchcocking a turkey, (or butterflied turkey as it’s also known), worry not — here we will take you through exactly what to do step-by-step to get your bird ready for the table. Better yet, this same technique can be used with chickens and other birds. Sosharpen your knives, and get ready for the best turkey you’ve ever tasted. (And when the turkey's done, be sure to check out our guide on how to set a dinner table that will impress your guests.)
Poultry shears or paring knife
5. Using your hands, pry open up the turkey slightly where you’ve just cut.
6. Now, cut along the the other side of the backbone. Take your time, watch your fingers don’t get in the way, and make sure you have a good grip.
7. Once you’ve done this, remove the backbone completely and keep it, and the giblets, for stock.
8. You can also remove anything else annoying at this stage too, such as the wishbone or any large bits of fat. You can use a paring knife to trim around it before removing.
9. Flip your turkey and press it flat on the breast bone so that the legs splay outwards, or if you prefer, like a butterfly. It’s not pleasant, but if you press it hard enough, you should hear a bone or two crack, then it will sit flat more easily.
10. Season and baste your turkey. For chickens, we like to use a combination of salt, pepper, paprika, and Italian spices, but be sure to check out our guide on how to season a turkey for other options.
11. Place your turkey on a wire rack, and place it on a baking sheet. If you don't have a wire rack, you can use carrot and celery stalks, which can also impart some flavor. If there's extra room around the sides, you can also cut up some onions and potatoes and spread them around.
12. Tuck the wings under the breast for a finishing touch — it will look much neater as it cooks like this.
To ensure your bird is cooked properly, you'll need one of the best meat thermometers to make sure it's done. If it's taking too long to cook, it might be time to check out the best gas ranges or the best electric ranges for a replacement.