Spatchcocked turkey

For Thanksgiving this year I tried a recipe from Mark Bittman for turkey cooked with the spine out (aka spatchcocked), which is how I make chicken anyway, and it was wonderful!  I oiled the skin before cooking the turkey and added maybe 20 minutes of cooking time and it was delicious.

This was also the first time I actually got the skin really nice and crispy, so check it out:

See Mark Bittman's recipe here:  Diner's Journal: Spatchcocked Roast Turkey

1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Put turkey on a stable cutting board breast side down and cut out backbone. Turn turkey over, and press on it to flatten. Put it, breast side up, in a roasting pan. Wings should partly cover breasts, and legs should protrude a bit.
2. Tuck garlic and tarragon under the bird and in the nooks of the wings and legs. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
3. Roast for 20 minutes, undisturbed. Turkey should be browning. Remove from oven, baste with pan juices, and return to oven. Reduce heat to 400 degrees (if turkey browns too quickly, reduce temperature to 350 degrees).
4. Begin to check turkey’s temperature about 15 minutes later (10 minutes if bird is on the small side). It is done when thigh meat registers 165 degrees on an instant-read meat thermometer. Check it in a couple of places.
5. Let turkey rest for a few minutes before carving, then serve with garlic cloves and pan juices.

Also check out Jacques Pepin's roast chicken the same way, which I swear by, here: Quick Roast Chicken

One 4-pound chicken 4 large garlic cloves, minced 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 2 tablespoons dry white wine 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1 teaspoon Tabasco 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence 1/2 teaspoon salt

Step 1    
Preheat the oven to 450°. Using poultry shears, cut along each side of the chicken backbone and remove it. Turn the chicken breast side up and press on the breast bone to flatten the chicken. Using a sharp knife, cut partway through both sides of the joint between the thighs and the drumsticks. Cut partway through the joint between the wings and the breast.
Step 2    
In a bowl, mix all of the remaining ingredients. Turn the chicken breast down and spread it with half of the mustard mixture. Set the chicken in a large skillet skin side up; spread with the remaining mixture.
Step 3    
Set the skillet over high heat and cook the chicken until it starts to brown, 5 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the chicken for 30 minutes, until the skin is browned and the chicken is cooked through. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, cut it into 8 pieces and serve.
Make Ahead
The chicken can be prepared through Step 2 and refrigerated overnight.
Serve With
Mashed potatoes.
Suggested Pairing
Aromatic Loire Valley red.

I also served it here with Ina Garten's Brussels Sprouts Lardons but subbed bacon for the pancetta.  Yum!

2 tablespoons good olive oil
6 ounces Italian pancetta or bacon, 1/4-inch dice
1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts (2 containers), trimmed and cut in 1/2
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup golden raisins
1 3/4 cups Chicken Stock or canned broth

Heat the olive oil in a large (12-inch) saute pan and add the pancetta. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the fat is rendered and the pancetta is golden brown and crisp, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the pancetta to a plate lined with a paper towel.

Add the Brussels sprouts, salt, and pepper to the fat in the pan and saute over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until lightly browned. Add the raisins and chicken stock. Lower the heat and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the sprouts are tender when pierced with a knife, about 15 minutes. If the skillet becomes too dry, add a little chicken stock or water. Return the pancetta to the pan, heat through, season to taste, and serve.


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