We made two turkeys for our Simply Organic friendsgiving, a traditional roasted bird with herb and lemon stuffed cavity and a spatchcocked bird that we carved and served to guests. If you have never roasted a spatchcocked bird we would strongly recommend you try this year! It really is life changing! It cooked in no time, the meat was tender and moist, and carving it was a breeze. It may look out of ordinary, but if you carve it in the kitchen ahead of time, no one will know the difference. Plus, any naysayers will be stifled by the amazing taste of this juicy bird! Another great aspect of cooking the bird sans backbone? You have everything you need ahead of time to make a flavorful stock and gravy. See that recipe, here.
For the dry-brine
3 tbsp Coarse Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
For the Roasted Turkey
1 12-14 lb fresh turkey, backbone removed (ask your butcher to do this for you if you are not comfortable with the process)
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
½ cup white wine
½ cup chicken stock
Handful fresh thyme sprigs
1 -2 tbsp canola oil
To brine the bird:
Two days before you plan on cooking the turkey, start the brining process. Combine all of the ingredients for the dry brine in a small bowl. Set a rack on top of a 12 by 17 inch rimmed baking sheet and add the butterflied turkey, breast side up. Press down slightly on the breast to help to flatten out the bird. Pat dry with paper towels
Carefully loosen the breast and leg skin, and season flesh with the salt mix. Then liberally apply the salt mix over the entire bird. You may not need to use it all, but you want every inch liberally seasoned. Set in the fridge, uncovered, until you are ready to cook the turkey.
To roast the turkey:
Two and half hours before you would like to eat, remove your turkey from the fridge and preheat the oven to 450˚F. Remove rack with the turkey from sheet pan and drain off any liquid that has collected on the pan. Wash and dry pan, then line with tin foil. Scatter the onion, carrots, celery and thyme over the sheet pan, then add the rack with the turkey back on top. Allow to sit at room temp for about 40 minutes, then tuck the wings back behind the bird and rub the skin with the canola oil.
Place turkey in oven and roast for about 40 minutes. Carefully remove the turkey, add the stock and wine to the bottom of the pan, then rotate the pan and place back in the oven to roast for an additional 40 minutes.
Keep an eye on the bird, if it appears to be browning too rapidly, you can tent the breast with tin foil. After 80 minutes of cooking time, remove the bird from the oven and check the temperature with an instant read thermometer. The breast should be 155˚F (it will continue to cook while it rests) and the thigh should hit 165˚F. If the turkey is done, add to a clean sheet pan and tent with foil. Let rest for about 20 minutes before carving.
Use any drippings collected on the pan to supplement your make ahead gravy.
Adapted from Serious Eats