Spatchcock Turkey Is the Quickest Turkey

Keep this last-minute turkey recipe in your back pocket.

November 21, 2018

We woke up this morning jumping up and down, shouting, "Today's the big day! Today's the big day!"

Our turkeys have been brining for two to three days and are ready to slide right into the oven (along with a million other things we can't wait to eat). But from what we gather from the questions you've all been asking on the Hotline, many of your Thanksgiving mornings were not so enthusiastic: Some of you haven't quite landed on a turkey recipe.

But no worries! There's still time! This recipe, which Cristina Sciarra made for her own Thanksgiving last year, has a fast cook time and no brine time. Read: You can make this turkey today (not all hope is lost!).

Spatchcocked turkey: The patron saint of last-minute Thanksgivings. Photo by James Ransom

There are a few things you need to know before you start: The recipe has nervous-making lines in it, like, "24 hours before you plan to cook the turkey, spatchcock the bird." But your "24 hours" is now, so jump right in!

  • Spatchcock the turkey. (Follow this guide—it's not as scary as it sounds!)
  • Schmear butter and herbs all over it. (If you don't have time to wait for it to dry out in the refrigerator, that's okay!)
  • Stick it in the oven with some apple cider and turkey stock (or chicken stock, in a pinch!).

Depending on the size of your turkey, you'll be eatin' easy five hours from now. Now get spatchin'!

This article was originally published in November 2015, but we're running it again because spatchcocked turkey never goes out of style.

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P.S. Are you still looking for last-minute turkey recipes or help? Fire away in the Hotline—we're here for you!

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