Devin here! It’s that time of year again, where we spend time with family, friends and loved ones and share what we are all thankful for. It’s also that season where we overindulge on food and drinks all in the name of togetherness. Last year was our first annual “Friendsgiving” where I took on the challenge of hosting and cooking my first turkey. My spatchcocked turkey was such a success last year and this year!
Before cooking my bird I saw several different recipes and blogs talking about whether or not to brine your bird before cooking it. While listening to my favorite radio station last week, RAD Radio, the host was talking about his turkey brine recipe and I knew I had to try it. I went the faster route of purchasing Rob’s prepackaged brine online right before they sold out, but never worry the recipe is also online. Bringing your turkey is a very simple process.
Roasting a turkey this big will give you lots of leftovers! Use the turkey in Chrissy Teigen’s Pot Pie Soup. Click the link if you want to try!
How to Brine your Turkey:
- Clean the raw turkey and remove giblets and neck and place in a bag later for stock.
- In the bucket, combine the cooled (room temperature) broth with the ice water, salt, pepper and fresh herbs and mix well.
- Place the turkey in the bucket, breast side down and cover the bucket. Leave it to sit somewhere cool, I left mine outside due to the cold weather.
- After at least 6 and no more than 12 hours, and prior to cooking your turkey, remove the bird and rinse it with cool water, then proceed with your cooking prep
After bringing and rinsing off my bird I then proceeded to pat the bird dry before butterflying it. To butterfly your turkey you will need a good pair of kitchen scissors and/or a serrated knife.
How to Butterfly your Turkey
- Place the turkey breast-side down on a cutting board.
- Locate the spine of the bird and cut up one side from butt to neck. Repeat on another side once done (I used a serrated knife when I got to the larger bone closer to the neck).
- Take the spine and place it in the bag with the neck and save to make a turkey stock.
- Once the spine is removed, flip the bird over and practice your best chiropractor impression by pushing a lot of force on the breasts of the bird and butterflying the turkey.
- Place the turkey on a sheet pan. Pat the skin dry, rub it with whatever spices and herbs you like( I used an unmeasured amount of olive oil, rosemary, sage, thyme, pepper, and salt). Then let your bird sit in the refrigerator for around 24 hours uncovered to help make a crispy skin.
The major benefit of Spatchcocking your turkey is that it cooks in only a few hours compared to all day. The baking process should take around 2 hours at 400 degrees but, after the first hour make sure to check the temperature of the bird just in case your oven cooks slightly faster. Before you start to cook your bird you will want to start to make the gravy and stuffing, for this the turkey stock will a few hours to make.
- Take the neck and spine that you saved from your turkey and cut them into chunks and add to a pot. Brown each piece on both sides to release more flavors.
- After that, you will want to add in your vegetables and spiced (I went for your basic stock vegetable), 2 Carrot, 1/2-1 stock of celery, 1 white onion, 4 cloves of garlic, a few sprigs of parsley, salt, and pepper to taste.
- Cover completely with cold water and put on the stove and bring to a rolling boil. Once you get a boil skim any foam off the top and reduce heat and simmer for about 2-3 hours covered.
- Once finished, pour through a metal strainer set aside into a separate bowl for stuffing and gravy.
- Take your favorite type of bread and cube up an entire loaf. Place the bread onto a cooking sheet and toss in the oven at 350 degrees until lightly toasted. Set aside in a large bowl for later.
- If you would like to make gluten-free, use gluten-free bread!
- Remove and set aside until the stock is finished.
- Take 1 lbs or either ground pork or ground beef and cook on high heat in a pan until fully cooked. Remove meat but, try to keep some of the fat in the pan.
- Add chopped onion and celery (or any other vegetable you want in your stuffing) to the pan and add a little butter and saute until tender.
- Once the vegetables are tender add the meat back into the pan and stir together adding salt and pepper to taste.
- Add your meat and vegetable mixture with your toasted bread. Mix well. Once mixed add 3 eggs to the mixture to help bind the stuffing together.
- After your stuffing is fully mixed together, put in a well-buttered casserole dish. If your turkey isn’t done at this point place the stuffing in the refrigerator till the turkey is finished.
- Place the stuffing in the oven at 375 degrees and cook for 30 minutes. I recommend doing this right after you take out the turkey while it is resting for 30 minutes.
- 1/4 cup turkey drippings (fat and juices from roasted turkey)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (we used Bob’s Redmill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour)
- 2 cups turkey broth
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Pour drippings from roasting pan into a bowl, leaving brown particles in pan. Return 1/4 cup drippings to roasting pan. (Measure accurately because too little fat makes gravy lumpy.) Stir in flour.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Stir in liquid. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Add more broth if you want a thinner gravy.
Needless to say, it was all worth it to spend time with all my close friends. They are what I am thankful for.