Spatchcock. Whenever I say that word I just giggle. I can’t help myself. It sounds, well, a little dirty. But it’s actually a brilliant way of cooking poultry. Also known as “butterflying,” to spatchcock a turkey (or a chicken) is to open it up/split it open, press it until it’s flattened, and then either grill it or roast it.
The beauty of this method is that it not only cooks the bird more quickly and more evenly, it creates crispy, crunchy, caramel-brown skin all over (not just on top!).
There are instructions below to spatchcock your turkey, which essentially just means that you cut out the backbone and then use all your weight (or the weight of two people in this case) to press it down as flat as you can. I would recommend that you just ask your butcher to cut out the backbone for you – it saves time and great effort.
I used a really big bird here – 17 1/2 pounds!- which is great for a crowd but definitely more challenging to get it to fit into a roasting pan or on a baking sheet. I would recommend a smaller bird, closer to 12 to 14 pounds. It’s easier to deal with and cooks more quickly.
Recipe: Quick and Easy Spatchcocked Roast Turkey
Makes 10–12+ servings