typically we travel for thanksgiving and i’m not “in charge” of The Bird so i don’t have strongly held opinions about The Best Method to Cook To Cook a Turkey. but this year, we stayed home and i found myself wondering how on earth i was going to cook the Twenty Three Pound Organic Poultry Monster in our freezer that was too big to fit in any of our pans. and i know enough about turkey to understand that cooking a bird that big without special prep would probably result in a bird with dried out breasts. what to do? spatchcock the bird by removing the backbone and flattening it out before cooking.
i learned about the technique from a serious eats article from a few years back, “How to Cook a Spatchcocked Turkey: The Fastest, Easiest Thanksgiving Turkey”:
“This particular method is for folks who don’t give a damn about whether or not the whole, barely-adulterated bird makes an appearance at the table, but want the fastest, quickest, easiest route to juicy meat, and ultra-crisp skin. Basically, it’s a method for lazy folks with great taste. ”
i don’t know about the lazy part, but i do know i don’t care much about having a perfect bird presented on the table but i do care a lot about the juicy, crispy, fast part! and as an added bonus, i could cut the bird in half and cook the monster in a more manageable manner. ( side note, apparently spatchcocking turkeys is A Thing thanks to mark bittman ).
i followed the serious eats directions and removed the backbone and cooked at 450F for about 90 minutes. whoila! crispy skin and incredibly juicy meat.
henceforce, if i’m in charge, all the turkeys will be spatchcocked!