Try this method to achieve a moist bird with crispy skin
Spatchcock. It’s a funny name, but advocates of this cooking method contend a spatchcocked turkey, also called a butterflied turkey, cooks more quickly and evenly than a whole bird, producing tender meat under a crispy skin.
It’s an increasingly popular way of cooking a turkey, and relatively easy, too.
But first, let’s nibble a bit on the origin of the word “spatchcock.” Most media outlets reference The Oxford Companion to Food, which states: “The theory is that the word is an abbreviation of ‘dispatch the cock,’ a phrase used to indicate a summary way of grilling a bird after splitting it open down the back and spreading the two halves out flat.”
Spatchcocked birds are flattened before cooking. Because they’re flat, they cook more quickly and evenly than in traditional methods, cooks report. The birds can be cooked at higher temperatures and the skin is crispier because it’s all exposed.
To flatten out the turkey, cut out the backbone. Save it for making the gravy while the bird cooks, or store it for making turkey stock. Next, flip the bird over and press your palms down on the breast bone until it breaks and the bird rests flat.
Roast Spatchcock Turkey
1 (10-pound) whole turkey
½ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon crushed black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 F. Place a roasting rack on a baking sheet.
Turn the turkey over, breast-side down. Using a pair of sharp heavy-duty kitchen shears, cut along one side of the backbone. Repeat on the other side of the backbone. Reserve the backbone for making turkey stock for gravy. Press firmly down onto both sides of turkey to flatten.
Tuck the wing tips under the turkey and place on the roasting rack. Pat skin dry and rub olive oil over the entire turkey; season with salt, sage, thyme, rosemary and black pepper.
Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes, rotating baking sheet every 30 minutes. Increase temperature to 400 F and roast until skin is crisp, about 15 minutes more. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh should read 165 F.
Remove turkey from the oven, cover loosely with a doubled sheet of aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.
Melted butter can be used in place of the olive oil, if desired. You can baste turkey with butter every 30 minutes while roasting.
Once you have removed the backbone from the turkey, you can brine the turkey before roasting.