Admit it: Turkey usually sucks.
Don’t blame the bird. By roasting it whole on Thanksgiving, you dry out the white meat before the dark meat cooks. If you use a technique called spatchcocking, the meat will roast evenly.
Spatchcocking (also called “butterflying”) the turkey helps it lie flat so it’ll cook more evenly. You just need a pair of strong hands and some kitchen weaponry.
As a general turkey-buying rule: Estimate about one and a half pounds per person, to account for the meat-to-bone ratio and allow for ample leftovers.
So, for example, a 12-pound bird will serve eight people. Buy organic so that you know for sure that the turkey wasn’t raised on feed or water containing antibiotics.
Maybe it’s more expensive, but your guests are worth it, right?
All you’ll need is simple dry brine to help the meat stay juicy and the skin crispy.
All you have to do is wait, roast, and eat.
Spatchcocked Lemon Rosemary Turkey
What You’ll Need:
1 (12 lb) turkey, neck and giblets removed, patted dry, spatchcocked (see below)
2 ½ Tbsp kosher salt
Leaves from 2 sprigs rosemary, chopped, plus 2 whole sprigs
2 lemons, zested and then sliced
Olive oil, for brushing
How to Make It:
1. In a bowl, mix the salt, chopped rosemary, and lemon zest. Put the turkey, skin side down, on a large high-walled baking sheet with a roasting rack. Rub the mix on the skin and meat. Chill overnight, or up to 24 hours.
2. Remove the turkey from the fridge about an hour before cooking. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Brush the turkey with the oil and season well with pepper. Remove the roasting rack and line the sheet with lemon slices and rosemary sprigs. Return the rack and bird to the sheet. Roast until a meat thermometer registers 165°F in the thickest parts of both breasts and both legs, about 75 minutes, turning the sheet every 30 minutes.
3. Wearing oven mitts, carefully remove the turkey and let it rest at least 15 minutes before carving and serving. Feeds 8, plus leftovers
Nutrition per serving: 566 calories, 84g protein, 1g carbs (0g fiber), 24g fat
How to Spatchcock a Turkey
1. Put the turkey, breast side down, on a cutting board. Using kitchen shears, cut through the flesh and ribs on both sides of the backbone. Save for stock or discard.
2. Push the halves of the turkey apart. Using a paring knife, cut around the firm cartilage and the breastbone. (It looks sort of like a tongue depressor.) Yank out both.
3. Optional but nice: With a paring knife, make a slit in the skin between the lower end of the breast and the leg on each side. Stick the ends of the drumsticks through.
4. Now flip the turkey over and press it down so that the bird lies flat. You’ve done it: This is a spatchcocked turkey. Just look at the thing!
These two options fill you up and taste amazing.
Roasted Butternut Squash with Walnuts, Pomegranate Seeds, and Thyme
Toss 8 cups of cubed squash on a baking sheet with 1 Tbsp olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast at 400°F until tender, 20 minutes. Add ¾ cup chopped walnuts and roast till aromatic, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, cool, and mix in ½ cup pomegranate seeds and the leaves from 2 fresh thyme sprigs. Feeds 4
Per serving: 292 calories, 6g protein, 28g carbs (9g fiber), 18g fat
Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Pistachios and Prosciutto
In a large pan over medium heat, add 1 Tbsp olive oil, 2 oz diced prosciutto, and 1 lb Brussels sprouts, finely shredded. Saute till tender yet slightly charred, about 8 minutes. Mix in a bowl with ½ cup shelled, unsalted pistachios. Season with salt and pepper. Feeds 2
Per serving: 392 calories, 22g protein, 30g carbs (12g fiber), 24g fat
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