When I used to cook turkeys with my mom, the rule was 20 minutes of baking time for every pound of turkey. Six to ten hours later, we would finally have a turkey. It took constant minding and focus, and the oven was completely useless for anything else as it was full of a turkey at a ridiculously high heat. Thankfully, there's a better way.
It's called spatchcocking, and the idea is to butterfly the bird before you cook it, meaning that you break it open and flatten it out so that it cooks quickly and evenly. With spatchcocking, you can cook your bird in two hours instead of ten, and the turkey will be juicier and more delicious! Trust us, this method of cooking your one hour turkey will change the Thanksgiving Day madness for good.
One Hour Turkey
- 1 cup of butter
- 2 bundles of each, fresh sage and thyme
- 15-20 lbs turkey with neck and giblets removed
- 10 cups water
- 6 cups apple cider
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups kosher salt
- Lay your bird breast-side-down on a large cutting board.
- Take a pair of kitchen shears and get a good grip on your bird. Starting at the tail, cut along one side of the backbone all the way up to the neck. If you get too close to one of the bones, don't try to cut through it. Just adjust your shears and cut around it. Continue until you have completely separated one side from the backbone.
- Repeat this process on the other side of the backbone, so you will have the backbone completely separated. Make sure your cuts look clean. If you see any large bits of fat or marrow, use your hands to get those out of the way.
- Flip your turkey back over so the breast is up. Pull the two sides apart so that the bird basically lies flat on the cutting board. Straighten out the legs.
- Now the fun part. Place your hands on the breast bone and press down hard. This takes a decent amount of force. You will hear a few cracks in your turkey as you break the bones.
- Your bird is now ready to brine. In a roasting pan or tub, combine water, cider, vinegar, and kosher salt, 1-3 sprigs of thyme and sage. Because you have butterflied your bird, your brine will be able to cover the whole bird. Refrigerate 12 hours or overnight.
- In the morning, rinse your bird thoroughly and dry completely with paper towels.
- Using your fingers, separate the skin from the breasts and thighs without removing the skin. Rub the butter over the breasts and thighs, under the skin. Slide a few leaves of sage and sprigs of thyme under the skin. Season all the sides with salt and pepper.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place turkey on a wire rack in your roasting pan. Place remaining sage and thyme on the inside of the bird.
- Roast until the thickest part of the breast is at 145 degrees and the joint between the body and the thigh is 160 degrees (about an hour to an hour and a half, depending on the size of your bird). When measuring temperature, keep your thermometer as close as you can to the bone, without touching the bone.
- Remove from oven and transfer to a cutting board on your counter top. Cover with tinfoil and allow to rest for 10-20 minutes. (For awhile the internal temperature in a large bird will continue to rise after removal from the oven, which is why we remove it before it is fully cooked.) As the bird rests, its juices will be reabsorbed by the muscles.
- Slice and serve your one hour turkey. Use the hours you've saved to enjoy a Happy Thanksgiving!
Meagan Crafts Price