I made a turkey for Thanksgiving. Why you should too

Or even for Christmas.

I’m not a big fan of traditional Thanksgiving dishes. The sides are thin but the traditional centerpiece, the turkey has never been my favorite. I don’t hate turkey but it never really turned me on and ever since I started cooking on my own the effort / gain ratio has always been very low.

Traditional roast turkey takes a long time to prepare and unless you baste it every 15 minutes, most of it turns out dry. Brining your turkey has become very popular over the past decade. I’ve already done it. This works well, but finding a container large enough to brine your turkey up to 48 hours before Thanksgiving can be a problem. In the end, you get a tastier, juicier turkey, but it’s still a lot of work.

Frying a turkey is fun and delicious, but it also involves a lot of specialized equipment and we’ve seen enough videos of the firefighters to know how dangerous it can be.

All of the above reasons are why I jumped on the last two trends in Thanksgiving preparation. Brine dry and spatchcocking the turkey.

Both of these methods will make your next turkey a cinch and have you wondering where they have been all of your cooking life.

First of all, the spatchcocking. I think I first heard about spatchcocking about 10 years ago in a cooking magazine. They were cooking chickens to make brick chicken on the grill.

Here is the basic recipe.

More recently, I noticed a lot of kitchen outlets saying that you should try doing this with a turkey as well.

I needed to try, but there was a personal obstacle.

I’m a good cook, but I’ve always avoided recipes that made me do anything with whole birds. Whenever the instructions start telling me to “pop” a shoulder joint, I move on.

Spatchcocking involves the removal of the spine, traditionally using kitchen scissors, then flattening the turkey to maximize the cooking surface. Removing poultry thorns was never part of my cooking resume, but I got an idea for one of the recipes I found. They suggested that you could just have a butcher do it for you when you pick up your turkey.

I thought about asking my butcher if they would and was told “absolutely” Shout out to 640 meats for the excellent service.

When I picked it up they cut the backbone (you can still keep it so you can make turkey broth with it) and I was on my way.

There was only one step left before cooking and that was the dry brine.

It’s easy. I used this Williams Sonoma dry brine and just mixed it with a little extra salt and brown sugar to ensure an even layer.

That’s all you have to do. Flatten the turkey and cover with the brine. Then place it in the fridge 24 hours before cooking it and you’re good to go.

This is what it looked like before it went in the oven.

Place it directly on the grill with a roasting pan underneath to collect your cooking juices. Turn your oven to 425 and close the door for 20 minutes.

Here’s what it looks like after 20 minutes.

Lower the temperature to 350 and check it every 20 minutes.

Here is the turkey after 40 minutes.

And at 60 minutes, it was done. Breast meat was registering at 150, dark meat was a bit high at 170 but still went well.

Let sit (upside down) for as long as you have cooked it.

And then you are ready to sculpt.

I forgot to take pictures of the sculpture but here is a finished plate.

Juicy, flavorful and fully cooked and sliced ​​in about 2 hours. I will never go back and you should try it too.

Turkey still isn’t my favorite dish to prepare, but this way is so quick and easy that I’ll be more than happy to prepare it for those family members who always insist on having something “traditional” on the menu. Thanksgiving table.

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