Close-up of Spatchcock Turkey, as seen on The Pioneer Woman, season 32.
Recipe courtesy of Ree Drummond

Spatchcock Turkey

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 15 min (includes resting time)
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings
Spatchcocking refers to the removal of a turkey or chicken’s backbone, enabling it to lay flat in a roasting pan. Not only does this reduce the cooking time, but the breast and thigh meat will be done at the same time because the whole bird has the same exposure to heat.



  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F.
  2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and add the maple syrup, sage, garlic, rosemary and thyme. Reduce the heat to low and cook while you prepare the turkey, about 10 minutes.
  3. Place the turkey breast-side down on a work surface. Cut down both sides of the backbone with kitchen shears, then remove and set the backbone aside (reserve for stock). Flip the turkey over and press firmly with the palm of your hand on the center of the breast. The breastbone should pop and the turkey should sit relatively flat.
  4. Grab a roasting pan or a sheet pan. Spread the celery, carrot and onion onto the pan. Top with the turkey breast-side up. Brush the bird with the butter mixture, then season generously with salt and pepper.
  5. Roast the turkey for 30 minutes to begin the browning process. Lower the temperature to 375 degrees F and baste the turkey with the herb butter. Continue to roast the turkey, basting with the pan juices every 20 minutes, until it is deep golden and registers 165 degrees F when a meat thermometer is inserted in the thigh, another 40 to 50 minutes. Let rest for 20 minutes before carving and serving.