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Grilled Turkey Spatchcock - Gregg Prawdzik

Serves 4-6 people

What does spatchcock mean? It's just a fancy culinary term for a particular butchery preparation. This is NOT difficult. Just remove the backbone with bone scissors or a very sharp and sturdy knife (reserve the bone for stock). Lay the bird flat upon a sheet pan (you may need to break the breast bone). The advantage of this preparation is the fact that the bird cooks evenly, breast and thigh. AND, I like to portion the bird before I serve it, regardless how it may be prepared. Otherwise, if served whole, the bird will end up in disrepair in no time when left to other's carving skills.


Also try brining your bird before cooking. You can look up any number of recipes on the internet. Don't be scared by the amount of salt. However, the tried and true recipe I follow is simple to remember. 3-4-5. 3 cup salt, 4 cup sugar, 5 gallon water. For one 10 lb bird this would equate to approximately, 1 cup salt, 1.25 cup sugar, 6 qt water. Brine for at least 24 hours.

12-15lb bird

1 bunch fresh rosemary

1 bunch fresh thyme

2 lemon, sliced

2 head garlic, crushed

1 medium onion, whole, rough chop

1 can chicken stock

1 tbsp white or apple cider vinegar

Salt and pepper


Remove the back bone as described above.

Add chicken stock and vinegar to sauce pan and reduce to half volume on medium heat. Set aside.

Heat grill on LOW if using gas. Otherwise, if using coals, fire up no more than a coffee can full of charcoal, and allow the coals to burn until dusty and white. Spread coals evenly with plenty of room to breath. Add 4-6 coals every 30-45 minutes to maintain a 350F temperature.

Divide the herbs, garlic, lemon and onion evenly into 4 piles, and loosely wrap each with tin foil, which you will place under the bird during the grilling process.

Remove the backbone of the turkey as described above and place with the giblets (to be used later). Stretch the turkey until flat and evenly distributed (you will need to break the keel bone of the breast in order to do so).




Place the herb packets on the grill allowing for air space between each packet (otherwise you will overheat the grates and ruin the grill). Place the flattened turkey on top, close lid, and maintain a temperature of 350F inside the grill. Use an instant read meat thermometer and remove turkey when 155-160F at the thickest part of the bird. Tent with tin foil and allow to rest for 30 minutes before carving

NOTES: The USDA specifications for poultry is to cook to 165F. It does not take into account “carry-over” cooking which is why you must pull the turkey from the heat before it gets to 165F unless you wish to have a dry bird. In general, for every 1lb of solid meat, allow for 1 degree of temperature increase once removed from the heat source.

REGARDING GRAVY: This recipe will not yield any pan drippings, which many people enjoy for making gravy…sorry. HOWEVER, after preparing the turkey for the grill, one is left with the neck, backbone and giblets. Roast these in the oven until browned. Transfer to a stock pot and add chicken stock. Simmer until the meat falls off the neck bone (approx 1 hour) and use this for your gravy. Remember the golden rule for thickening gravy. 1 pound of roux for 1 gallon of liquid. This means, ½ pound of butter, ½ pound flour (approx 2 cups) and 1 gallon turkey stock. From this you can back calculate how much roux to use to thicken your gravy based upon how much turkey stock you start with.

To make roux, melt butter in sauce pan and whisk in flour to incorporate. Once the mixture resembles wet sand, stop adding flour, and sauté until the roux begins to brown. At this point, vigorously whisk in the turkey stock. Allow the gravy to simmer for at least 30 minutes to incorporate the flour and butter. Stir frequency and watch for burning at the bottom of the pot. Season to taste.


Dan's Tasty & Healthy Turkey Soup

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