Introducing Grandfather’s Spatchcock Turkey recipe

By Kathy Hamman Miller

The following is sharing a “new” Grandfather’s Thanksgiving Recipe” and welcoming my great-nephew into the family.

This Spatchcock Turkey recipe is a different way to prepare a turkey that’s done by removing the backbone and spreading it open and pressing it down flat. This really cuts down on the time for baking and keeps both the white and dark meat moist in the end.

This recipe also works great for both roasting or grilling. The turkey size used here was an 18-pounder.

Rinse to clean the turkey with cold water and let dry. Get a roasting rack on a baking sheet ready and preheat the oven to 325 degrees.


1 turkey cleaned and dry

1/2 cup melted butter or olive oil

Poultry seasoning of choice to cover

1 tablespoon of Thyme

1 tablespoon of Sage

Turn the turkey so it’s breast side down.

With sharp kitchen shears, cut along both sides of back bone, remove and save as you can use this for making gravy or soup stock later while the turkey is baking.

Press the turkey firmly down to flatten as shown in picture. Make sure it’s dry. Cover with olive oil or melted butter, covering the entire bird and tucking the wing tips under. Season turkey by covering it with poultry seasoning, rubbing this in. Sprinkle the thyme and sage on then press in to the seasoned oil. Place on roasting rack.

This turkey took two hours to bake and since the pop up timer didn’t work this time, a meat thermometer was used. As turkey meat goes, when it reaches 165 degrees in the thickest part of the breast and thighs it’s done.

If you like crispier skin, turn up the heat to 400 degrees at the end and wait 10 to 15 more minutes, watch it so you have it just the way you’d like it.

Take out of the oven, and let set 5 minutes before you start to carve it up.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. Enjoy!

Kathy Hamman Miller

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