Turkey – The Spatchcocked Way

by Guest Columnist & KosherEye Friend,  
Chef Laura Frankel


OK, the name is funny, but this is serious cooking. Spatchcocking poultry is the process of removing the backbone and sternum of a bird. The bird is then flattened out by pressing on it. The result is a bird that cooks evenly, quickly and without drying out the breast.

Spatchcocking is easy and takes only a few minutes using either a very sharp knife or really good kitchen shears. While the process is simple and easy, the time saved in cooking equals big payback. Because the turkey is butterflied, the heat is more evenly distributed and a 12–pound turkey will take about 1 1/2 hours to roast versus a whole turkey which will take over 3 hours to roast. A whole butterflied  chicken takes about 30 minutes to roast while a whole chicken takes an hour.

I learned how to spatchcock poultry many years ago in culinary school and fell in love with the technique. I never understood why everyone didn’t do it. Whole roasted chicken and turkey are a reasonable possibility for dinner on weeknights. No more slaving over the stove waiting for dinner when a moist, luscious meal  is moments away. No more v-racks, beer cans, and other contraptions used in an effort to roast the perfect bird. Just you, a bird and sharp knife.

This year for the chagim, try Spatchcocking and see if you don’t fall in love with a silly word that means serious cooking. Enjoy the following recipes for Roasted Spatchcocked Turkey with Stone Fruit Compote, Autumn Plum Tart. Sautéed Cavalo Nero – Dinosaur Kale, and Butternut Squash Puree.

About the Author

cheflaurafrankelLaura Frankel is the Executive Chef at Wolfgang Puck Kosher Catering at the Spertus Institute for Jewish studies in Chicago. She is the author of Jewish Cooking For All Seasons (Wiley) and Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes (Wiley). Frankel is an avid farmer’s market supporter, giving demos and teaching classes all over the country featuring market produce. Follow Laura on her blog, ChefLauraKosher.

September 11, 2011

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