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spatchcock turkey recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com
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4.75 from 12 votes

Spatchcock Turkey Recipe

A beautiful roast turkey in under two hours with juicy meat and crispy skin, every time.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 20 minutes
Resting Time20 minutes
Total Time2 hours
Course: main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: turkey
Servings: 8
Calories: 609kcal


  • Meat thermometer
  • Kitchen Shears


Spatchcock Turkey

  • 1 medium onion peeled and quartered
  • 1 orange halved
  • 1 lemon halved
  • 2 stalks celery roughly chopped
  • 10-12 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 11lb-12lb whole turkey or the smallest you can find, see notes
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Rosemary Citrus Butter

  • 1/4 cup butter room temp
  • 1/4 cup fresh rosemary leaves only
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 orange zested
  • 1 lemon zested
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper


  • Adjust your oven rack so that it’s in the middle of the oven. Heat oven to 450°F. Foil line a large deep baking tray. Place the onion, orange, lemon, celery, and rosemary sprigs on the foil, then place a wire rack on top of the vegetables.
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  • Pat the turkey dry with paper towels. Flip so that it’s breast side down. Hold the turkey firmly and use a pair of kitchen shears to cut alongside the backbone, starting where the tail meets the thigh. Cut all the way up until the turkey is split up to the neck. Push the turkey open slightly and then repeat on the other side, carefully cutting alongside the other side of the backbone. This side may be a bit trickier, so go slow.
    removing turkey backbone | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Trim off any excess fat or skin you might see. I took off the tail and the hood of fat near the neck.
    trimming turkey fat | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Flip the turkey over so that the breast is facing up and push down on the ridge breast bone, hard. You should hear a couple of cracks and the turkey should be flatter.
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  • Place the turkey on your prepared rack and baking sheet. Tuck the wing tips behind the breast and rub with 1 tablespoon of oil. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Transfer to the oven and roast, for about an hour and twenty minutes, rotating halfway, or until the deepest part of the breast is 150°F, and the thighs are at least 165°F. 
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  • While the turkey is roasting, blend or food process the rosemary citrus butter ingredients together. At the 50 minute mark, carefully and evenly brush on the rosemary citrus butter. If at any point the turkey skin starts to look too brown, you can tent it with foil and then remove the foil at the end to get the crispy brown skin. When the turkey is cooked, remove from the oven and let rest for 15-20 minutes.
    Spatchcock Turkey | www.iamafoodblog.com

How to carve a turkey

  • Using a medium sized knife, remove the legs by cutting through where the thigh meets the body. Find the joint between the thigh and the drumstick and cut through the joint. Find the joint of the wing near the top of the turkey’s breast and working the knife through it, removing the wings. You can leave the wings whole or spilt them by cutting along the joints.
    deconstructed spatchcocked turkey | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Remove the breasts by slicing down the center, near the breast bone, using the tip of your knife to follow along the shape of the bone while peeling the breast away slowly. As you continue to slice, the breast should fall away in one piece. Repeat on the other side. Slice the breast into evenly thick pieces. Remove the thigh meat away from the bones, saving all the bones for stock or soup. Arrange everything on a platter and garnish with oranges, lemons, and rosemary. Enjoy!
    spatchcock turkey recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com


See blog post for cooking times for other size birds.
inspired by Serious Eats


Calories: 609kcal | Carbohydrates: 10.2g | Protein: 84.9g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 232mg | Sodium: 394mg | Potassium: 1019mg | Fiber: 2.7g | Sugar: 5.4g