Thanksgiving Day is the ultra-marathon of cooking. You’ve trained—mastering how to make cauliflower mashed potato and taste-testing different types of gluten-free stuffing. Now, it’s go-time.
Without a doubt, the part of the meal that is the most time-consuming and tedious is the turkey. And considering the whole feast is named after the bird, it’s a pretty critical part of the meal. But there’s an amazing cooking method that will free up your time—and oven—cooking the turkey in literally half the time.
Behold, spatchcock, the cooking technique Taste of Home says takes turkey cooking down to an hour-and-half from the three or four hours normally required. Here’s how it works: Basically, you remove the backbone of the turkey so that it lays flat in the oven. That’s it. Your entrée will still come out evenly cooked, juicy, and ready to plate.
Wondering how exactly you remove the backbone of a bird? First, put the turkey on a cutting board, face down. Then, use kitchen shears to put along the spine. When you’re ready, remove the backbone with your hand. (Just like the traditional turkey cooking method, spatchcock is not for the squeamish.)
And like that, you’ve freed up the oven and made room for everything else you have to use it for. (Yes, people will notice if your sweet potato casserole is missing.)
This hack is so good that you just may find yourself using it year-round anytime you’ve craving some poultry for dinner.