I ordered my turkey spatchcocked and when I opened it up, the butcher just cut it in half with the backbone still in place. Can I save the bird?

I just want to make sure I can still roast the bird like I normally would with a spatchcocked turkey. It's sitting in a brine solution now.

  • Posted by: Mark
  • November 25, 2015


steph November 25, 2015
Oh that is a bummer. I say turn lemon into lemonade and just braise it in parts so everything is perfectly cooked: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/12/dining/12mini.html
alygator November 25, 2015
I have a follow-up question (thank you, Mark for asking)! I think my butcher did it right however, I am kind of nervous about the rib cage. Should I worry about any little pieces of bones from the rib cage? I tried to really look at it this morning when I was putting on the dry brine but this is my first time working with a spatchchocked turkey and don't know what to expect. The rib cage stays in correct?
Susan W. November 25, 2015
Yes. Don't worry about the ribs. The bird will be very easy to carve once cooked. The breast meat will pull away from the bones easily.
Susan W. November 25, 2015
You definitely can. Remove the backbone if you can so it lays flat. In my mind, that would be harder with the backbone in place. Just lay the two pieces side by side and proceed.

Voted the Best Reply!

Amanda S. November 25, 2015
Yes! Just remove the backbone yourself by snipping along both sides of it with your sharpest, strongest kitchen shears (small snips, starting at whichever end is most comfortable). Then flatten it and proceed like so: https://food52.com/blog/4736-how-to-spatchcock-a-chicken-or-turkey
Amanda S. November 25, 2015
And if the bird is in two separate pieces, set them side-by-side and cook them the same way you were planning to if it had been spatchcocked correctly.
drbabs November 25, 2015
I agree with Amanda. And this actually happened to me recently, only it was a chicken, and I was explaining to a friend of mine how to spatchcock it, and before I knew it, he had cut the whole thing in half. So we just cut out the backbone, and roasted the halves as if it were spatchcocked, and it was fine.
Mark November 25, 2015
Thanks a bunch!
ChefJune November 25, 2015
Well, not spatchcocked, you can't - so sorry to say. I think I would season it and tie it together really well with twine and roast it as a "regular" whole bird. You should still be able to get aromatics inside the cavity. It is going to be a big pain to carve, however.
I think I'd find a new butcher for the future. This one seems to not know what "spatchcocked" means. I'm so sorry that happened to you, but it should still taste great.
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