Flatten that Bird: Have You Butterflied a Turkey?

published Nov 1, 2011
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

We read this quote from Tyler Florence in the November issue of House Beautiful: “Roasting a whole turkey to get a perfectly cooked breast is the equivalent of cooking half a cow for a nice filet mignon.” It’s true—how often do we douse our breast meat in gravy because it’s dried out? Well, this is one solution.

You’re giving up the ta-da of presenting a whole, hulking bird on a platter, but honestly, he gets carved up pretty quickly. And we think a split carcass looks just as impressive.

Tyler’s tip (and his recipe for Split-Roasted Turkey Buried in Herbs, which isn’t yet available on the House Beautiful website) is slightly different than what’s pictured above. He recommends completely separating the two halves, as opposed to just removing the backbone and flattening out the whole bird. But either way, the concept is the same: You can cook it in less time, so the breast meat doesn’t dry out. Plus, rather than being perched on some roasting rack, the meat is nestled into the pan with the seasonings and juices, keeping it moist.

FYI a butcher can split a turkey for you if you don’t feel confident enough to do it at home.

Recipe pictured above: Butterflied Turkey with Apple-Cranberry Glaze, from Food Network Magazine.

Has anyone tried this? What’s your take?

Related: How to Cut Up a Turkey Before Roasting

(Image: Steve Giralt)