Prepare to impress your family and friends with a beautifully roasted turkey that’s juicy, flavorful, and perfectly cooked. Spatchcocking, or butterflying, the turkey ensures even cooking, while the combination of lemon, herbs, and butter infuses it with a delectable flavor. Plus, you’ll learn how to make a rich, velvety gravy that pairs perfectly with your turkey. This recipe is your ticket to becoming the holiday dinner hero!
Spatchcocking is a culinary technique where the backbone of the turkey is removed, allowing it to lie flat. This not only reduces cooking time but also ensures that the turkey cooks evenly. Combined with a flavorful herb and butter mixture, the result is a turkey that’s crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside.
For the Spatchcocked Turkey:
- 12-14 lb whole turkey, giblets removed
- 1 lemon, zested and halved
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, sage), chopped
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the Gravy:
- Drippings from the roasted turkey
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups turkey or chicken broth
- Salt and pepper to taste
Prepare the Turkey:
- Spatchcock the turkey: Place the turkey breast-side down on a clean surface. Use kitchen shears to cut along both sides of the backbone and remove it. Turn the turkey over and press down on the breastbone to flatten it.
- Preheat your oven: Preheat your oven to 450°F (230°C).
- Season the turkey: Season the turkey generously with salt and pepper, both inside and out.
- Herb and lemon butter: In a bowl, combine the softened butter, minced garlic, lemon zest, and chopped fresh herbs. Mix until well combined.
- Under the skin: Carefully lift the skin over the turkey breast and spread some of the herb and lemon butter under the skin. Place the lemon halves under the skin as well.
- On the skin: Rub the remaining herb and lemon butter all over the surface of the turkey.
Roast the Turkey:
- Roasting pan: Place the spatchcocked turkey in a roasting pan, skin-side up.
- Roast: Roast the turkey in the preheated oven for about 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°F (74°C) on a meat thermometer. The skin should be golden brown and crispy.
- Rest: Remove the turkey from the oven and let it rest for about 20-30 minutes before carving.
Make the Gravy:
- Deglaze the pan: Place the roasting pan with drippings over medium heat. Add a bit of broth and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Make a roux: In a separate saucepan, melt a bit of butter and whisk in the flour to create a roux. Cook for a minute or two until it turns golden.
- Gradually add broth: Gradually add the remaining broth while whisking constantly to avoid lumps.
- Combine: Pour the pan drippings into the gravy, season with salt and pepper, and simmer until it thickens.
4. Cook’s Tips
- Even cooking: Spatchcocking the turkey ensures even cooking. It’s a great technique to prevent the breast from drying out while the dark meat cooks thoroughly.
- Crispy skin: For extra crispy skin, you can start the turkey at a higher temperature (450°F) and then lower it to 350°F after about 30 minutes.
- Use a meat thermometer: To ensure your turkey is perfectly cooked, use a meat thermometer. Insert it into the thickest part of the thigh, making sure it doesn’t touch the bone.
Add a variety of citrus fruits, like oranges or grapefruits, alongside the lemons for a citrusy twist on the flavor.
Experiment with different herb combinations such as thyme and parsley or rosemary and dill for unique flavor profiles.
Spice It Up
Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or paprika to the herb and lemon butter for a spicy kick.
Spatchcocked Butter-Roasted Lemon and Herb Turkey with Gravy is a showstopper that’s perfect for your holiday table. The spatchcocking technique ensures even cooking, while the lemon, herbs, and butter infuse the turkey with a mouthwatering flavor. The rich, velvety gravy adds the finishing touch to this incredible dish. Your guests will be in awe of your culinary prowess. Enjoy!
With this recipe, you’re ready to create a stunning and delicious turkey with ease. Whether it’s for a holiday feast or a special occasion, your guests are in for a treat. Happy cooking!