The Ultimate Crispy Spatchcocked Turkey Recipe

Juicy Butterflied Roast Turkey with Gravy: Easy Spatchcocked Method for Crispy Skin

Discover the secret to the juiciest, most flavorful Thanksgiving spatchcocked turkey you’ve ever tasted! This spatchcocked turkey recipe will revolutionize your holiday cooking, delivering perfectly crisp skin and tender meat in record time.

Every year, food writers and chefs claim to have found the holy grail of turkey recipes. While there’s no single “best” way to cook a turkey, this spatchcocking method is a game-changer for those who prioritize incredible flavor, ultra-crispy skin, and major time savings.

If you’re tired of dry, unevenly cooked turkeys and ready to elevate your Thanksgiving game, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s dive into the world of spatchcocking and discover why it’s the ultimate technique for lazy cooks with impeccable taste.

The Turkey Dilemma: Solving the Age-Old Cooking Conundrum

The classic challenge with roasting a whole turkey is the temperature difference between white and dark meat. Ideally, you want juicy breast meat (best at 150°F) and perfectly cooked legs and thighs (optimal at 165°F or higher). Traditional roasting methods often leave you with dried-out breasts or undercooked legs.

Enter spatchcocking – the superhero technique that saves the day (and your turkey)!

Spatchcocking 101: The Butterfly Effect

Spatchcocking, also known as butterflying, is a simple yet transformative technique. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Place the turkey breast-side down on a cutting board.
  2. Using sturdy kitchen shears, cut along both sides of the backbone to remove it.
  3. Flip the turkey over and press firmly on the breastbone to flatten it.
  4. Tuck the wing tips behind the breast.

Voila! Your turkey is now ready for its spa treatment in the oven.

Video Tutorial: Master the Art of Spatchcocking

5 Reasons Why Spatchcocking Rules the Roost

1. Even Cooking: The Path to Turkey Perfection

By flattening the turkey, you expose the legs and thighs to more heat, allowing them to cook at the same rate as the breast meat. The result? Juicy perfection from tip to tail.

2. Crispy Skin Galore: A Flavor Explosion

With all the skin facing upward, you’ll achieve the crispiest, most golden-brown exterior imaginable. Plus, the rendered fat bastes the meat as it cooks, enhancing flavor and juiciness.

3. Speed Demon: From Oven to Table in Record Time

Say goodbye to hours of roasting! A spatchcocked turkey cooks in about half the time of a traditional whole bird. More time for football and family, less time hovering by the oven.

4. Gravy Gains: Unlock Next-Level Flavor

Remember that backbone you removed? It’s the secret to creating an intensely flavorful gravy that will have your guests begging for the recipe.

5. Stuffing Sensation: A New Take on Tradition

While you can’t stuff a spatchcocked turkey, you can roast it atop a bed of stuffing for the first half of cooking. This method infuses the stuffing with incredible turkey flavor – a win-win situation!

Addressing the Naysayers: Embracing a New Tradition

Some may argue that a spatchcocked turkey lacks the classic Norman Rockwell appeal. To them, we say: presentation is temporary, but flavor is forever! Carve your masterpiece in the kitchen and arrange it beautifully on a platter for a stunning entrance that will have jaws dropping.

How to Carve a Spatchcocked Turkey Like a Pro

Recipe: Crispy Spatchcocked Turkey with Herb Gravy


  • 3 large onions, roughly chopped (about 1 1/2 quarts)
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped (about 1 quart)
  • 4 stalks celery, roughly chopped (about 1 quart)
  • 12 thyme sprigs
  • 1 whole turkey (12 to 14 pounds total), butterflied as per the instructions above, backbone, neck, and giblets reserved
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 quarts low-sodium homemade or store-bought chicken or turkey broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour


  1. Preheat your oven to 450°F and position the rack in the middle. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil, then create a vegetable bed using 2/3 of the onions, carrots, celery, and thyme sprigs. Place a wire rack directly on top of the veggies.
  2. Pat the turkey dry and massage it all over with 1 tablespoon of oil. Season generously with salt and pepper (skip the salt if using a brined turkey). Tuck the wing tips behind the back and place the bird on the rack, pressing down gently to flatten.
  3. Roast the turkey, rotating occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer registers 150°F in the deepest part of the breast and at least 165°F in the thighs, about 80 minutes.
  4. While the turkey roasts, prepare the gravy. Chop the neck, backbone, and giblets. Heat the remaining oil in a saucepan over high heat and brown the turkey parts for 5 minutes. Add the remaining vegetables and cook until softened. Pour in the broth, remaining thyme, and bay leaves. Simmer for 45 minutes, then strain and skim off any fat.
  5. In a separate saucepan, make a roux by melting the butter and whisking in the flour. Cook until golden, about 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in the strained broth and simmer until reduced to 1 quart. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Once the turkey is done, transfer it to a clean baking sheet and let it rest for 20 minutes. Strain any pan juices into the gravy, discarding excess fat.
  7. Carve your beautiful bird and serve it alongside the luscious gravy. Prepare for compliments and recipe requests!

Pro Tips for Spatchcock Success

For next-level results, try dry-brining your turkey 24-48 hours before cooking. This simple technique enhances flavor and ensures perfectly seasoned meat throughout.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
552 Calories
24g Fat
4g Carbs
76g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10 to 12
Amount per serving
Calories 552
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 24g 30%
Saturated Fat 8g 38%
Cholesterol 288mg 96%
Sodium 696mg 30%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 76g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 44mg 3%
Iron 3mg 18%
Potassium 731mg 16%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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