The cooking holiday food buzz this year seems to be about spatchcocking your bird and rightly so! For the easiest, fastest and – most of all – juiciest turkey you’ll ever eat, spatchcocking is the way to go. So, what exactly is spatchcocking. Simply put, it’s cutting out the back bone of the bird and laying it out flat which allows for faster cooking. The skin is also better exposed to heat allowing it to crisp up in higher temperatures. You may flavor your bird with any combination of your choosing. This year I made a Rosemary and Garlic butter and slathered my turkey in it. I can honestly say this was the best turkey I’ve ever cooked. Everyone wanted the recipe.
- 1/2 pound of unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 4 small cloves of Garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon of fresh Rosemary chopped finely
- Pinch of Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon of cracked peppercorn blend
Blend all ingredients well and refrigerate until needed. You may need to expand the recipe depending on the size of your bird. You may need to soften the butter before applying it to your turkey.
Take your thawed turkey and place it breast side down. Starting at the cavity closest to the legs, take kitchen shears and start cutting the back bone out. You will cut through the ribs all the way up both sides until you reach the neck cavity. Turn the legs flat and try to flatten the turkey as much as possible. This will cut your cooking time drastically.
- 3 tablespoons of Kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons of fresh Rosemary chopped finely
- 1 teaspoon of granulated garlic
- Cracked peppercorn blend (to taste)
Mix all the ingredients well in a small bowl and apply directly to your turkey.
I like to dry brine my turkey to add flavor and moisture back into the turkey. Basically, a dry brine is rubbing salt and herbs into the skin of your turkey and letting it sit in the refrigerator for three days. The Kosher salt herb mixture draws natural juices from the turkey while adding flavor at the same time.
Take your herb butter out of the refrigerator and allow it to reach room temperature. Cover the inside of your turkey with the mixture. Turn your turkey over and butter the breast under the skin and finish by covering the outside of your turkey. I like to lay a sprig or two of fresh herbs under the skin on the breast for decoration. This year I used Rosemary sprigs. Once the skin is cooked it turns translucent and you can see the fresh herbs like a stained glass window. Reserve some of your butter mixture for basting throughout cooking process.
Set your cooker up for smoking using the divider plate for indirect heat. Preheat your cooker to 325 degrees. Place your turkey breast- side up in a shallow roasting pan. Baste your turkey in pan drippings and butter mixture from time to time. However, you don’t want to open the cooker too often. You want to keep that delicious wood-smoked flavor in as much as possible. Smoke your turkey until the internal temperature in the thigh is 180 degrees – making sure that the tip of your thermometer is not up against the thigh bone.
Carefully remove your turkey and let it sit for 15 minutes before carving. Enjoy the best holiday turkey you’ve ever had.