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lemon herb butter roast spatchcock turkey (the easiest thanksgiving turkey recipe!)
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Prep Time: 1 hours

Cook Time: 1 hours, 30 minutes

Total: 3 hours

Servings: 10

Cost: $5.12 /serving


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Step 1

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F, ensuring a rack is positioned in the center of the oven. Remove the turkey from its packaging. There is no need to rinse your turkey (rinsing promotes cross-contamination). Instead, simply use paper towel to pat the surface of the turkey as dry as possible. If present, remove the neck & giblets from the cavity of the turkey. Discard or set aside for easy turkey gravy. Transfer the turkey to a large plastic cutting board atop a stable, sturdy surface. Place the turkey breast side facing down.

Step 2

Add all listed herb butter ingredients to a medium bowl. Season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired. Mix to combine well. Set aside for immediate use, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Step 3

(Note: For more guidance + step-by-step photos, be sure to check out this full How to Spatchcock a Turkey guide!) Using very sharp kitchen shears or a sharp knife, carefully snip along each side of the turkey’s backbone until it’s completely detached. Discard or set aside for easy turkey gravy. Locate the top of the turkey’s breast plate directly behind the turkey breasts. Place the heel of a sharp chef’s knife in the center of the top of the breast plate. Use a rolling pin to carefully yet forcefully tap the spine of the knife, wedging the heel of the knife into the bone. Continue tapping until the bone cracks. Use your hands to stretch the inner cavity of the turkey as wide open as possible, then flip the turkey such that its breast side is facing up. Place your hands on the center of its breasts, on the breast bone. Use your body weight to apply pressure to the chest plate, cracking the bone all the way through such that the turkey lays flat  – your turkey is spatchcocked & ready for roasting. Great job!!!

Step 4

Use your hands to spread the prepared lemon herb butter from Step 2 between the turkey skin & meat. Buttering the turkey meat directly helps keep it juicy & flavorful. If needed, use paper towel to pat the turkey skin as dry as possible. Drizzle the olive oil over the entire surface of the turkey skin, then season generously with kosher salt & ground black pepper. If you have any remaining lemon herb butter, dot it over the top of the turkey.

Step 5

Arrange the onions & carrots across the bottom of a roasting pan. (You can be as rustic as you’d like – no one will see!) If desired, place the turkey neck & spine in the roasting pan, too, for extra flavorful turkey gravy. Set your seasoned spatchcock turkey over top, breast side facing up. Gently tuck the wing tips behind the breasts to prevent burning.

Step 6

Transfer the roasting pan to the oven. Roast at 450 degrees F for 30 minutes. Remove the turkey from the oven for basting. Carefully spoon or brush the drippings in the roasting pan all over the surface of the turkey. Return the roasting pan to the oven, reducing the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Continue roasting the turkey for 1 additional hour, removing the turkey from the oven every 20 minutes to repeat the basting process. If desired, rotate the roasting pan 180 degrees each time you place it back in the oven to promote even roasting & browning. Pull the turkey from the oven once an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh registers an internal temperature of 155 degrees F.

Step 7

Very carefully transfer the roast spatchcock turkey to a cutting board or large flat surface. Tent with foil & set aside to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before carving. As the turkey rests, its juices will redistribute throughout the meat & its internal temperature will continue to rise to a safe 165 degrees F.

Step 8

Optional: Prep turkey gravy: Meanwhile, as the turkey rests, prep turkey gravy as desired. For more guidance + step-by-step photos, be sure to check out my Easy Turkey Gravy recipe!

Step 9

Carve, serve & enjoy!

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