The Spatchcock Turkey with bacon, accompanied by roasted veggies and a rich gravy, is a show-stopper with its decadent, buttery bacon flavor! Ideal for Thanksgiving or Christmas, this mouthwatering roast turkey recipe yields a juicy, flavorful bird. Served with savory roasted vegetables and a robust gravy, it creates a complete and satisfying feast!
I love cooking for the Holidays! When Thanksgiving rolls around, it’s so rewarding to realize that it’s that time of year again for big casseroles, sumptuous desserts, mashed potatoes, gravy, and, of course, a beautiful roast turkey. Only, I have a new favorite way to make our turkey the true star of the show: spatchcocking. And bacon-wrapping. And it’s easier, faster, and may just turn out a juicier Thanksgiving turkey!
How To Spatchcock A Turkey
- “Spatchcock” is a way of cutting out the bone from a whole chicken or whole turkey so that it cooks more quickly and evenly. To do this, first, place the turkey on a cutting board or your working surface, with the backbone facing UP.
- Using a pair of poultry scissors, start cutting around the backbone to remove it. There may be some areas that are harder to cut; in those cases, try using just the tips of the shears to cut slowly and with greater precision. (Note: the backbone and giblets can be saved for making broth or gravy!)
- Once the backbone is removed, turn over the turkey, breast side UP. Press down forcefully to flatten it. You should hear the breastbone crack as the turkey flattens out. The legs will be turned out to the sides.
Spatchcock Turkey Ingredients
- For the Turkey: 10-pound whole turkey, butter, salt, pepper, and bacon
- For the Vegetables: carrots, celery, onions, fresh rosemary and thyme, olive oil, bay leaves, and chicken broth.
- For the Gravy: turkey cooking liquid, flour, butter, salt, and pepper.
How To Roast Spatchcock Turkey
- Prep. Preheat the oven to 425˚F. In a large roasting pan, add the carrots, celery, onions, garlic, and fresh herbs; drizzle with olive oil and stir to combine. Add the bay leaves and pour over the chicken stock. Set aside.
- Prepare the Turkey. Spatchcock the turkey, and then brush the turkey with the melted butter. Season with salt and pepper, tuck in the wings, and arrange the bacon slices all across the top of the turkey. Place the turkey in the roasting pan over the veggies. Take the cubes of butter and scatter them over the top of the turkey.
- Roast the Turkey. Roast until golden brown for about 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours, basting with the cooking liquid every 20 to 30 minutes, until done. Use an Instant Read Thermometer to check for doneness. Turkey is cooked when the internal temperature at the thigh registers at 165˚F.
- Rest the Turkey. Remove the roasting pan from the oven and transfer the turkey to a cutting board. Cover the turkey loosely with foil and let it rest for 30 minutes before cutting. Transfer the roasted vegetables to a serving plate, and save the juices.
How To Make The Gravy
To make the gravy, pour out the turkey pan juices into a heatproof bowl. (You will need 2 cups of pan juices. If you don’t have enough, just add some chicken broth or water to make 2 cups.) Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet set over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute, whisking frequently. Gradually whisk in the turkey pan juices; bring to a boil. Whisk for a minute or two or until thickened. Adjust the salt and pepper, and then pour the gravy into a gravy dish.
Best Temperature For Roasting A Turkey
- Different cooks have different opinions on this, but I recommend roasting at 425˚F, for a good evenly cooked turkey with lots of flavor, texture, and golden-brown coloring!
When Is Turkey Done?
- The easiest and most reliable way to test for doneness is by using a good meat thermometer. Test the temperature in the thickest section of the thigh and remove the turkey from the oven when the temperature registers at 165˚F.
- Thaw in the Fridge: If you purchase a frozen turkey, be sure to allow plenty of time for it to safely thaw in the refrigerator. It takes between 2 and 3 days for a frozen 10-pound turkey to do so!
- Try Brining: If you have the extra time, you should definitely try brining the turkey in a salted water solution. This is a time-honored way of adding flavor and improving the texture of the turkey.
- Let It Rest: After roasting, be sure to let the turkey rest for 20 to 30 minutes. This allows the juices to stabilize in the meat, and it makes it easier to carve, too.
Side Dishes To Serve With Turkey
I adore Brussels sprouts anytime, and these Brussels Sprouts Salad with Apples and Candied Walnuts will seriously wow your guests. Or go with these simpler Smashed Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Glaze. Casseroles can be festive, and I love this Butternut Squash and Rice Casserole or my Broccoli Cheese Casserole. Wrap it all up with a classic Traditional Stuffing, a seasonal Sweet Potato and Cranberry Stuffing, or a hearty and decadent Cheesy Italian Sausage Stuffing.
- To refrigerate or freeze: Debone the turkey meat, but you can leave the drumstick meat on the bone. Transfer the meat to food storage bags or airtight containers and refrigerate for 3 to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
- To reheat: Place thawed leftover turkey in an ovenproof dish. Add a small amount of broth to moisten the turkey, cover with foil, and reheat for around 20 to 30 minutes at 350°F or until heated through.
Recipes For Leftover Turkey
- Turkey Salad Sandwiches
- Turkey and Wild Rice Casserole
- Turkey Soup with Orzo and Spinach
- Leftover Turkey Frittata
More Turkey Recipes
- How To Brine a Turkey
- Garlic Lemon Butter Roast Turkey Breast
- Rosemary Lemon Roasted Turkey
- Juicy Roast Turkey Recipe with Maple Gravy
- Instant Pot Turkey Breast Recipe
- 9 to 10 pounds whole turkey, spatchcocked – read below for how to spatchcock a turkey, or you can get one that’s already spatchcocked.
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 10 to 15 slices thick cut bacon, (number of slices will depend on surface size of turkey)
- 6 tablespoons butter, room temperature, cut into ½-tablespoon cubes
- 2 cups turkey cooking liquid
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 tablespoon butter
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 425˚F.
- In a large roasting pan, add the carrots, celery, onions, garlic, and fresh herbs; drizzle with olive oil and stir to combine.
- Add bay leaves and pour over the chicken stock. Set aside.
- Spatchcock the turkey: Place the turkey on a cutting board or your working surface, with the backbone facing UP. Using a pair of poultry shears, start cutting around the backbone to remove it. You can also use a sharp knife.
- Once the backbone is removed, turn over the turkey, breast side UP, and press down forcefully to flatten it. You should hear the breastbone crack.
- Brush the turkey with the melted butter and season with sea salt and pepper.
- Tuck in the wings and arrange the bacon slices all across the top of the turkey.
- Place the turkey in the roasting pan, over the veggies. Make sure the wings are tucked under.
- Take the cubes of butter and scatter them over the top of the turkey.
- Roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes, basting with the cooking liquid every 20 to 30 minutes. Turkey is cooked through when its internal temperature registers at 165˚F at the thigh. Use an Instant Read Thermometer for accuracy. Start checking for doneness around the 80-minute mark.If the bacon starts to burn before the turkey is cooked through, lightly tent a piece of foil over the turkey and continue to roast until done.
- Remove the roasting pan from the oven; transfer the turkey to a cutting board, cover it loosely with foil, and let it rest for 30 minutes before cutting.
- Transfer the roasted vegetables to a serving plate, but do not discard the juices.
- Pour out the turkey pan juices into a heatproof bowl. I use my large glass measuring cup. You will need 2 cups of turkey juices. If you don’t have enough, just add some chicken broth or water to make 2 cups
- Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet set over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute, whisking frequently.
- Gradually whisk in the turkey pan juices; bring to a boil. Whisk for a minute, or two or until thickened. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust accordingly. Remove from heat and transfer it to a gravy bowl.
- Transfer the turkey to the serving platter with the veggies.
- Serve turkey and veggies with the gravy.
- For a turkey that’s flavorful, well-textured, and has a beautiful golden-brown color, I suggest roasting at 425˚F. This temperature ensures even cooking throughout.
- A reliable meat thermometer is your best friend for ensuring turkey doneness. Insert it into the thickest part of the thigh, and once it reads 165˚F, the turkey is ready to come out of the oven.
- If your turkey is frozen, allocate 2 to 3 days for it to thaw completely and safely in your refrigerator. A 10-pound turkey typically fits this timeframe.
- For an extra flavor and texture boost, try brining your turkey in a saltwater solution before cooking. It’s a tried-and-true technique worth the additional time.
- After roasting, give the turkey 20 to 30 minutes to rest. This pause helps the juices redistribute, ensuring a moist meal and smoother carving.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.