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A cooked and carved spatchcocked turkey on a large white platter with a fork next to it.

Spatchcocked Turkey

Course: Entree
Cuisine: Thanksgiving
Keyword: Butterflied turkey, How to Spatchcok a Turkey, Spatchcock, Turkey
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 130kcal
Roasting a Spatchcocked Turkey will produce the best tasting turkey (or chicken) you or your loved ones will ever try. The benefits are endless, with the best one being the taste. Once you try spatchcocking, you'll never want your turkey prepared another way. It's even better than fried! If you are feeding a large group, you can do this technique to 2 birds...and they'll both easily fit into the oven, because they are flat!
Print Recipe


  • Roasting Pan, Kitchen Shears (if removing the backbone yourself)



  • 2 onions roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 stalks celery roughly chopped
  • 4 - 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 12 lb turkey spatchcocked (or butterflied) - backbone removed
  • 2 tbsp oil or softened butter
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Backbone from the spatchcocked bird chopped into pieces (use a chef's knife to cut, or ask your butcher)
  • Giblets and neck from the turkey
  • 1 onion peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 stalk celery roughly chopped
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 5 cups stock chicken or turkey
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp flour



  • Pre-heat the oven to 450°F.
  • Place the turkey on a large cutting board, skin-side up, and press down with the palms of your hands to further flatten the bird.
  • Scatter the onions, carrots, celery, thyme and bay leaves across the pan. Place the turkey, skin-side up, directly on top of the vegetables in the pan.
  • Pat turkey dry with paper towels and rub all over with 1 tablespoon of oil. Season liberally the the skin with salt and pepper.
  • Tuck wing tips behind the back.
  • Transfer the turkey to oven and roast for 30 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350°F. Continue roasting until an instant read thermometer inserted into the the breast reaches 165°F., about one hour longer.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to rest on a new baking sheet at least 15 - 20 minutes before carving.
  • Carefully pour any collected juices from the the roasting pan through a fine mesh sieve in a measuring cup. Skim off fat and then save the juices for pouring into gravy (recipe below).
  • Care turkey and serve with gravy!! ENJOY!!


  • Heat the oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.
  • Brown the backbown, neck and giblets until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the onions, carrots and celery and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Add the turkey or chicken stock, and then the thyme and bay leaf and simmer for 45 minutes.
  • Strain the stock through a fine mesh sieve/strainer into a large measuring cup and discard the solids.
  • Melt butter over medium-high heat in a medium sauce pan.
  • Add flour and cook, stirring constantly until lightly browned, about 3 minutes.
  • Whisking constantly, add strained stock in a thin, steady stream until it is fully incorporated.
  • Simmer and cook until thickened, about 10 - 15 minutes longer.
  • Pour drippings from roasted turkey into the gravy and mix.
  • Keep gravy warm then serve with roasted turkey.



Most butchers will spatchcock the bird for you.  If he/she is not aware of the term, ask to have the backbone removed and the bird butterflied. And be sure to ask for the backbone (for the gravy)!
Large turkeys (over 14 lbs) don't do as well when spatchcocking.  If you are feeding a crowd, you can easily fit two spatchcocked turkeys into your oven (because they are flat!)
You can brine the bird before preparing for roasting, no problem!  You can also inject with seasoning before roasting, too.
The gravy can be made in advance, or while the bird is cooking.
Carving Instructions:
  1. Use a sharp knife to cut the legs from the body at the point where thigh meets the breast.
  2. Cut through the leg joint, moving back and forth, to separate the drumsticks from the thighs. 
  3. Hold drumstick and slice meat off bone, if desired. 
  4. Slice thigh meat off the bone, angling you knife as you cut. 
  5. Carve both breasts from the breastbone and rib cage.  Slice breast meat crosswise into slices. 


Calories: 130kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 631mg | Potassium: 251mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 9405IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg