When it comes to cooking a whole turkey quickly and evenly, spatchcocking--removing the entire backbone from the bird and splaying it open--is a great technique. This skin on this spatchcocked turkey gets crispy and browned because nearly all of the skin is exposed. This recipe uses a simple blend of oil, fresh herbs and spices for classic roasted turkey flavor. Look for a small turkey, about 12 pounds, as it fits better in most roasting pans.

Carolyn Casner
Source: EatingWell.com, October 2017


Recipe Summary

20 mins
2 hrs 10 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

  • Combine oil, thyme, sage, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Trim any excess fat from the turkey. Using heavy-duty kitchen shears or poultry shears, cut the turkey down one side of the backbone, through the ribs. Make an identical cut on the opposite side to remove the backbone completely; discard. Place the turkey cut-side down and flatten with the heel of your hand (you'll have to press hard!). Splay the thighs outward and tuck the wings under. Loosen the skin over the breasts and thighs; rub the herb mixture under the skin.

  • Make a layer of lemon slices about the size of the turkey in a large roasting pan. Set the turkey on the lemons.

  • Roast the turkey until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 165 degrees F, 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours. Remove from the oven and let rest for 20 minutes before carving.

Nutrition Facts

156 calories; protein 24.6g 49% DV; carbohydrates 0.2g; exchange other carbs; dietary fiber 0.1g; fat 5.6g 9% DV; saturated fat 1.3g 7% DV; cholesterol 88.4mg 30% DV; vitamin a iu 26.5IU 1% DV; vitamin c 0.4mg 1% DV; folate 8.2mcg 2% DV; calcium 13.3mg 1% DV; iron 1mg 5% DV; magnesium 25.8mg 9% DV; potassium 205.8mg 6% DV; sodium 260.8mg 10% DV; thiaminmg 4% DV.

Reviews (3)

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3 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 1
  • 4 star values: 2
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
This is how I make the turkey for Friendsgiving every year it's so much faster the skin gets so much crispier all while staying so juicy! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
I'm going to do this with a whole chicken sounds yummy!! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
I ve done this several times with large roasting chickens as well as small turkeys. I still brine for 6-10 hrs to enhance moisture as the high temp can dry out the bird. I will sometimes use a smoker to keep the smoke of the high temp out of the house. If your oven isn t squeaky clean you may have to deal with smoke indoors Read More