No, your grandma won’t wash your mouth out with soap if you suggest spatchcocking. She might look at you a bit perplexed, however, until you explain that it’s a cooking technique that gives you a holiday turkey with golden crisp skin and perfectly moist meat every time.
Let’s face it, traditional stuffed turkey just ain’t cutting it anymore. While the stuffing may taste great soaking in all those turkey drippings, it’s also soaking in salmonella and always winds up soggy. Not to mention filling your bird prevents it from cooking inside out, prolonging cook times and often making the meat drier. Looking for a better way? Try one of these methods.
- Spatchcock – In this cooking method, the backbone is removed and the turkey is laid flat. The payoff? An evenly cooked bird and much shorter cook times, usually around 90 minutes depending on the weight.
- Vertical Roasting – If you’ve got enough space in your oven, try roasting your turkey upright. Minimal contact with the pan means crisp skin over the entire bird and more uniformly cooked meat. Google vertical turkey roaster and you’ll find a variety of wire stands perfect for the job.
- Beer can roasting is not a good vertical roasting technique. The beer doesn’t get hot enough to steam the bird or impart any flavor. Instead, it just prevents your turkey from cooking inside out.
- Deep frying – A surprisingly healthy way to cook your bird is to deep fry it. The moist turkey meat actually repels the cooking oil so only a negligible amount enters the bird. After just a short hour or so of cooking, you’ll have a perfectly golden bird with tender meat.
The cooking method is only half the equation. To get the perfect turkey, be sure to season it appropriately. Use salt and pepper and your favorite seasonings to coat the turkey, inside and out; brine your turkey; or inject it. And, most importantly, don’t forget to brag about spatchcocking your bird to all your guests.