Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Spatchcock--the breakdancing turkey

Need to cook a twelve pound turkey in an hour and ten minutes? Spatchcock that sucker. My mom (who keeps me abreast of what's going on in Martha Stewart world) hipped me to this. A Spatchcock is a game bird or small chicken that's been butterflyed for easy grilling but the same technique will work for a twelve pound gobbler on a half-sheet pan. You need some poulty shears but you will save time, oven space, and end up with a moister bird. Check it:

Brine your turbo bird in 1 cup salt per gallon of water for 4-6 hours

Remove turbo from his bath, towel off, and put him breast down on a half sheet pan or large rimmed baking sheet. Use some poultry shears to cut along each side of the backbone. This takes some hand strength and will emit some gnarly bone cracking sounds. Don't worry---It's all good!

Flip the bird and snip the wishbone in half. To find it, push on the area between the breasts and you'll feel it.

Flip the bird back over and push down hard on the breast until the wishbone cracks and the breasts flatten.
Grease it up (top and bottom) with some olive oil and sprinkle with seasonings (no salt though!)
Cook at 450 for 70 minutes or until the inside of the thigh reads 165 on a meat thermometer

Put your bird on a platter and let the sheet pan cool off. Then pour your precious pan juices into a fat separator, or if you like things lo-tech like me, pour into some plastic cups and let the fat rise to the top. Slit the bottom of the cup over a saucepan and let the dark juice drizzle out. When the lighter colored fat floating on top gets close to the hole, plug it with your finger and toss it.

Scrape the gooey goodness off the sheet pan (I'm weird, I use old credit cards--it's good to wash your debt)

I like to put a little red wine and some shallots or garlic in the saucepan and let it reduce a bit. Turkey and "gravy" in two hours!

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