Serving a beautiful whole Turkey is what most folks expect on the Thanksgiving table, and it sure is pretty sitting on that platter ready to carve. It’s what most of us grew up with.
But there is a problem here. It’s truly a challenge to get the dark meat properly done before the breast is overcooked. The dark meat on the legs might not pull cleanly off the bone, and the breast meat could be dry and tough.
My preferred method over the years is to spatchcock, or butterfly, the bird so it lays flat. The dark meat gets exposed to much more heat this way, and almost every time the breast is perfectly moist, and the dark meat pulls cleanly. Here’s how I make a Spatchcocked Turkey.
Because it is not always practical to cook turkey on a charcoal grill, I set out to create an oven-roasted turkey recipe that everyone can cook at home.
My Approach to Perfectly Cooked Turkey
Since a whole spatchcocked bird is too large for most ovens, this recipe involves deconstructing the bird first. The backbone, neck and giblets can be used to make stock for gravy, and the legs, breast and wings can be cooked until they are perfectly done, and removed to rest.
Brining is optional, but recommended for moisture and flavor. I have found that even turkeys that have been treated with a solution benefit from brining.
- 1 10-20 lbs turkey
- 1/2 cup Dizzy Pig Mad Max Turkey Seasoning
- 1 stick butter, divided
- 2 onions, quartered
- 2 stalks celery, rough chopped
- 2 apples, quartered