Justin from Beckett’s Table taught me this way to make a turkey, and Thanksgiving is SO much better for it. Cut turkey time down to less than two hours with his step-by-step technique. Removing the bones allows you to cook the meat more evenly, meaning no more dry meat. I can’t forget to rave about the crispy skin. It is lights out!
- Start with a thawed turkey. If you pick up a frozen turkey, allow to thaw in the refrigerator for a few days. Remove giblets from the body and neck cavity.
- Flip the turkey over, cut off the wings and set aside. Score a line down the spine. While pulling the skin up, cut around either side of the rib cage. Flip the bird around and do the same thing in the opposite direction until you’ve got the ribs free to remove and set aside for stock or gravy.
- Remove the tendons and separate the skin from the meat. Spread the skin out into a square-ish shape on your workplace.
- Smash the dark meat into an even layer on the skin, then layer the light meat on top. Stretch the skin as tightly as you can around the meat.
- Using baker’s twine, make a simple knot on top, wrap it around the back and make another knot a little way’s down. Do this all the way down the length of your turkey “burrito.” This technique is called trussing. Feel free to add herbs, seasonings, and butter.
- Pop in the oven on a sheet tray at 400 degrees for the first ten minutes to get crispy skin on the outside. Lower to 325 degrees for the next 75 minutes or until the thermometer reads 155 degrees. Continually baste your bird with the juices that leak out. Then let the turkey rest after removing from the oven. Drop a few cubes of butter over the top and cover in foil until ready to serve.
Enjoy! Cut the twine and slice. Each slice of turkey will have light and dark meat and crisp flavorful skin. Don’t forget to save leftover slices for sandwiches the day after
Photography by Sara Nevels
In Partnership with Chef Justin Beckett of Beckett’s Table