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Tarragon-Butter Roasted Spatchcocked (Butterflied) Turkey

Tarragon-Butter Roasted Spatchcocked (Butterflied) Turkey 10.000

Scott Suchman for The Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky, props by Limonata Creative for The Post

Nov 10, 2021

Dry-brining turkey leads to more seasoned meat and incredibly crisp skin, and spatchcocking it before roasting leads to more even cooking in a fraction of the time. Before roasting, the bird gets rubbed with a compound butter that relies on tarragon, lemon and garlic for tons of flavor.

Use any turkey drippings to make gravy.

Active time: 30 mins; Total time: 2 hours plus 2 days’ seasoning

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Make Ahead: The turkey needs to be seasoned and refrigerated for at least 1 day, but preferably 2 or 3 days, in advance.

Storage Notes: Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

10 - 12

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 10-12 servings

  • One (10- to 12-pound) turkey
  • 1 tablespoon fine sea salt or table salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick/4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or finely grated
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper

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Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil and place a wire rack inside.

Set the turkey, breast side down, on a cutting board. Remove the giblets, if included. Using kitchen shears, cut along both sides of the backbone, removing a strip about 2 inches wide; reserve the backbone and giblets for making stock. Turn the bird breast side up and use the heels of your hands to press down on the breast bone, flattening it slightly. Pat it dry with towels and sprinkle the salt evenly over both sides of the turkey. Transfer it to the prepared baking sheet, breast side up, tuck in the wing tips, if desired, and refrigerate (ideally on the bottom shelf, for food safety purposes), uncovered, for 1 or up to 3 days. (You'll have better seasoned meat and crispier skin the longer it is refrigerated.)

In a small bowl, mix together the butter, garlic, tarragon, lemon zest and pepper until thoroughly combined. Gently slide your fingers under the skin of the turkey to separate it from the flesh along the breasts and thighs, being careful not to tear the skin. Don't worry about not being able to separate it fully — just do as much as you can. Using your fingers, rub half of the compound butter directly on the meat underneath the skin. Massage the skin from the outside until the butter is distributed in an even layer. Rub the remaining compound butter all over the skin of the turkey as evenly as possible. Maneuver the bird so it fits on the baking sheet, but if the drumsticks hang over the pan's edges, that's okay.

Let the turkey sit at room temperature. Meanwhile, position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees. Roast the turkey for 45 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thighs registers 165 degrees and the skin is crisp and nicely browned. (Note that sometimes the herbs in the butter can burn, which mostly affects appearance and less so flavor. If this is of concern to you, tent it with foil while it finishes cooking once the desired color is achieved.) Let the cooked turkey rest 20 to 30 minutes before carving.

Recipe Source

From Voraciously staff writer Aaron Hutcherson.

Tested by Aaron Hutcherson.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (about 8 ounces), based on 12: 393

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 26g 40%

Saturated Fat: 10g 50%

Cholesterol: 163mg 54%

Sodium: 958mg 40%

Total Carbohydrates: 1g 0%

Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%

Sugar: 0g

Protein: 39g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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