About ten years ago, we went on the search for the "perfect turkey recipe" for Thanksgiving. We looked at brining the turkey but quickly discovered that a 5 gallon bucket with a 20+ pound turkey would not fit in our refrigerator! That is when we found it! The Spatchcocking or butterflying method of preparing our turkey!
Spatchcocking requires a lot of work to start but the result of a succulent turkey is worth that extra effort! The benefits include the turkey cooking in half the time (i.e. 20# turkey 45-60mins), it cooks and browns evenly, it's juicy and perfectly cooked(every time!!), and it's easier to carve.
Here is how to spatchcock a turkey;
Dry off the turkey with paper towels.
Lay turkey breast side down, locate backbone and cut along each side it using either poultry sheers or a sharp boning knife.
Turn turkey over cut side down and push down to flatten bird.
Season turkey all over with salt and pepper.
Put turkey in refrigerator uncovered on a wire rack on top of a cookie sheet. The cool air from the refrigerator will dry the skin resulting in a crispy skin when cooked
Refrigerate turkey for at least 8 hours up to 24 hours.
To cook the turkey;
Let the turkey come to room temperature. You'll notice that the salt has soaked into the skin. Wipe off the remainder of the salt with a paper towel.
Brush bird with oil or butter. Put herb butter under the skin.
Set oven to warm up to 450 degrees and pour a couple of cups of water or beer into the cookie sheet. The moisture will steam the turkey.
Roast the turkey until the skin is golden brown and the thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 160 degrees F.
After cooking, let the turkey rest for about 30 minutes to let the juices settle before carving.