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A Delicious (and Quick!) Spatchcocked Turkey

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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.
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!), and 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'!

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Spatchcocked + Braise-Roasted Herb Butter Turkey

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Serves 10 to 12 people, with leftovers
  • 1 13-pound turkey
  • Kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • Zest of 1 small lemon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 10 cracks black pepper
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 green apple
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 cup turkey stock (vegetable or chicken stock will also work well)
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Are you still looking for last-minute turkey recipes or help? Fire away in the Hotline—we're here for you!

Automagic Thanksgiving Menu Maker!
Automagic Thanksgiving Menu Maker!

Tags: turkey, spatchcock, quick turkey, last-minute turkey