What is Spatchcocking and Why You Should Do it to Your Turkey This Thanksgiving

What the heck is spatchcock and what does it have to do with Thanksgiving? Turns out, quite a bit and you will want to do it this upcoming holiday season. Spatchcock or spatchcocking is a term that your local butcher or meat shop has known for some time.  Simply put, it’s a meat cutting technique used for splitting open a whole chicken, duck or turkey for grilling. 

One of the many benefits of spatchcocking your chosen fowl is less cooking time, crispy outer skin and a juicier bird. Not only that, it has that wow effect when presented at your Thanksgiving table. 

Here is a step-by-step on how to spatchcock your turkey: 

Step 1:  Before you even get started, be sure to spend the money on a decent pair of poultry shears. If you do decide to do it yourself you will want a solid cutting board. Place your bird breast side down. Begin by cutting both sides along the backbone. (Discard or better yet, keep the backbone for gravy-making purposes.) 

Step 2:  Flip the bird over and pull or fold it apart. If you have done it right, you will be able to snap the bone by pushing on it with your hands. 

Step 3:  Pull the thighs of the bird apart which will allow it to flatten out even more. Using those poultry shears, cut off the wingtips.

Step 4:  Put your recently-spatchcocked turkey into a baking tray. If you plan on prepping the night before, cover and refrigerate. However, if you are doing it the day of cooking it will need to sit at least 30 minutes before you cook it. Brush it with olive oil or butter and your favorite herbs. 

Step 5:  A typical turkey can take up to 90 minutes to cook but a good rule of thumb is to cook until the skin gets brown and crispy (which is the best part.) 

If this seems a bit too much work you can always reach out to your local meat and butcher shop to do it for you. Good luck and you can thank us later for this crowd-pleasing turkey!