As two excellent resources for home cooks point out to us this week, it’s as gruesome as it is rewarding to spatchcock a bird: Flip it over, snip out the spine, and cook the bird flat. Also known as butterflying, here’s why you might want to consider applying this simple technique to your Thanksgiving turkey this year.
As Serious Eats shows us with their beautiful bird, the pros include more crisp skin and a faster cook time as the meat is heated more evenly, and more skin is exposed. (Plus you’ve got that backbone to make a tastier gravy.)
In addition to the classic method, Food 52 suggests something I’ve never tried, which is to cut the spine out and then truss and bake the bird as you normally would, rather than laying it flat. This semi-spatch will reduce cook time as well and leave you with one of those round, mainstream-looking birds to present at the table.