There are many (many!) Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes the low. But this roast turkey recipe with its dry anise and orange brine is, as former BA test kitchen manager Carla Lalli Music said, “for people who want a turkey that really tastes good, not a turkey that just looks good”. (Watch her make this recipe.)
Butterfly or spatchcocking a whole turkey does a lot of great things. By creating more surface area (ie exposing more of the bird to the heat), it helps cook dark and white meat evenly, so everything stays juicy. It halves the total cooking time. And last but not least, it results in even crispier golden skin. Most butchers will remove the backbone of the bird for you if you ask, but this video shows you how spatchcock a 12-14 lbs. turkey step by step if you want to DIY (make two if you have a big party). If you are using a frozen bird, be sure to let it thaw first, and if you don’t have kitchen scissors or poultry shears, now is the time to buy some.
While you don’t have to get up early for this recipe (the total cooking time is only 1.5 hours), you’ll need to be close at hand while the turkey cooks to baste it. often. To test for doneness, insert a meat thermometer into both the thickest part of the thigh and the breast meat and look for an internal temperature of 165°. Let the cooked turkey rest, covered with foil, for 30 minutes before carving it, so that the juices stay in place.