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Nov 17, 2011 06:22 AM

Spatchcocked Turkey for T-giving--can I roast this on top of a bed of carrots and celery?

I was planning to put the turkey in a roasting pan, the bottom of which will be filled with carrots, celery, and onions, mostly carrots as they are one of the sides. I've looked at many recipes for spatchcocked turkey, both here and on other sites, and none address this. Would this be problematic or not? Thanks!

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  1. You're planning to use the carrots as the side? I'd worry that they'll be greasy and over-cooked. I do this with potatoes and onions under a chicken, but I keep the potatoes large and a chicken cooks quickly. If you're only planning to use the veggies to flavor the turkey drippings, it will be fine.

    1 Reply
    1. re: katecm

      Second on Kate's advice. Start the turkey off skin side down in a high heat oven, then allow 30-45 min. Turn the turkey over, skin side up, and watch carefully so skin doesn't burn. Your method of mirepoix - carrots, onion, celery is exactly how I did the spatchcocked turkey I served last year. Hopefully, you will have an easier time than I did removing the backbone, it required 3 people! I would do the carrot veggie side separately, for less time than the turkey, parboiling the carrots first. You may want to baste them with turkey juices for flavoring. Good Luck!

    2. Thanks, kate and Diane. I've only ever made one whole turkey before and that one was smoked in my smoker over the Memorial Day weekend. My dad always did the cooking for Thanksgiving (and Mom did the dishes--she hates to cook, so it was a fair trade), but I wanted to do something different to give my sister and me a chance to do a fun run/walk in the morning. Dad always roasts the carrots with the bird and they do turn out fabulously flavored, but they aren't cut into small chunks. Kate, good to know that you've done this successfully with potatoes and onions and chicken.

      And @Diane--thanks for the temperature/timing tips. And I think I'll ask my butcher to remove the backbone!

      1. Couldn't one do the spatchcocked turkey on a bed of bread or other stuffing?

        5 Replies
        1. re: Joebob

          I do my stuffing under the spatchcocked turkey. Obviously the dressing can be rather dry to start as it will be basted with turkey drippings. I don't advise any blood tests for insurance purposes for several weeks following the meal!!

          1. re: Joebob

            my turkey and stuffing cook at different temperatures. But I bought a second (frozen) turkey for experimenting after the holidays, so I'll give this a shot.

            1. re: Joebob

              I've done this a couple of times, and the stuffing is the Best Ever. However, since the stuffing absorbs the drippings we would normally use for gravy, this year I am going to put the stuffing on a wire mesh rack, and hope to create a resevoir to catch at least enougth grease to make the gravy. I don't know if it will work or not, but will give it a try.
              The turkey also cooks quickly this way. You really don't have to worry about the turkey and stuffing cooking at different temperatures, since they are both quite forgiving.

              1. re: Ms.M

                Cooks Illustrated has a recipe for gravy that uses the bits left over from spatchcocking that is excellent.