The way to guarantee a Thanksgiving turkey with moist breast meat and lots of crisp skin is to spatchcock it. That means removing the backbone and cracking the breastbone so it roasts flat. TorontoJo notes on Chowhound that spatchcocking is a forgiving method, since it’s hard to overcook the bird. And you can cook a turkey much faster than roasting the traditional way. Ask your butcher to spatchcock your turkey, or if you have heavy-duty kitchen shears or a sharp, heavy knife like a cleaver you can do it yourself (see these instructions with photos).

Several Chowhounds advocate dry-brining. TorontoJo likes this Washington Post recipe for an herbed salt rub, which also has roasting times.

If you’re a fan of stuffing cooked in the turkey’s cavity, you can achieve a similar effect by roasting a spatchcocked turkey over a bed of stuffing. The key is to keep your stuffing mixture on the dry side, Will Owen says, or it’ll end up soggy. Instead of placing the turkey directly on the stuffing, fourunder roasts it on a wire rack set over the stuffing. Try to keep the stuffing mixture completely covered by the bird so it won’t burn, nlgardener says.

Discuss: Roasting a spatchcocked turkey — approximately how long?
Spatchcocked turkey roasted on bed of stuffing–anyone done this?

Photo by Flickr member under Creative Commons

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