Roasting turkey is a tradition but I’m not the most patient person, so finding a way to prepare a great turkey dinner seemed like a good idea. In the past, I’ve spatchcocked a chicken so why not try this technique on a turkey. Spatchcocking opens the turkey up for faster, even cooking and it’s a great way to grill turkey because it allows marinades or rubs to infuse with the meat. Another benefit of spatchcocking is that it leaves the skin intact, which results in crispy, evenly browned skin and succulent meat.
Roasted Spatchcocked Turkey with Orange and Sage combines the technique of spatchcocking with a simple rub to brighten the flavors of the turkey. I love the combination of orange and sage as they bring mild flavors that pair well with poultry and squashes. This really is a simple way to prepare your next turkey with minimal fuss.
Prepping the Ingredients
To make the spice rub, grate the oranges until you have one tablespoon of zest. In a bowl, add the zest, salt, pepper and chopped sage and stir to combine. Slice the zested oranges into thick rounds and refrigerate them in a bag until ready to use when cooking the turkey.
To spatchcock the turkey, use Super Shears to cut along one side of the backbone from neck to tail. Repeat the cutting along the other side to remove the backbone and open the turkey up to find where the breastbone starts. Use a Boning Knife to slice through the cartilage and pull the turkey open to expose the breastbone. This will allow the turkey to lay flat. You may need to crack the bone to get the turkey to lay flat. Tuck the wings under the turkey and there you have it. For step-by-step instructions, take a look at our How to Spatchcock tutorial.
Take the spice mixture you’ve prepared and rub this all over the turkey, including under the skin and in the cavity.
Refrigerate the turkey for at least six hours or overnight.
Cooking the Turkey
Remove the turkey from the refrigerator. Cut the sweet onion into slices and place the slices, along with the reserved orange slices and sage sprigs, onto a cheesecloth. Place the cheesecloth onto the rack of a roasting pan and then place the turkey on the rack. Make sure the turkey sits at room temperature for 30-60 minutes.
Drizzle the turkey with oil, place chicken broth into the pan and place the roaster (uncovered) into the pre-heated oven and roast for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature, rotate the roaster and add water to the pan. Then drizzle the turkey with more olive oil. Roast an additional 30 minutes and drizzle with more oil. Cook until the turkey is a deep golden brown and the internal temperature of the bird reaches 160 F, approximately 55-65 minutes more.
This had to be the easiest turkey I have ever made. This Roasted Spatchcocked Turkey with Orange and Sage had crispy skin, tender meat and a light flavor of orange and sage. It would pair well with any side dish and was absolutely delicious on its own. Give this turkey a try – you won’t be disappointed.
Roasted Spatchcocked Turkey With Orange and Sage
- 2 large navel oranges
- 2 tablespoons sea salt
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped sage, plus 8 sprigs
- 1 (12-14-pound) turkey, neck and giblets removed
- 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
- Olive oil (for drizzling)
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup water
- Finely grate oranges until you have 1 tablespoon of zest. Place the zest in a small bowl, adding the salt, pepper and chopped sage, stirring to combine.
- Slice oranges into 1/2-inch-thick rounds and place the slices into a resealable plastic bag, chilling until ready to use
- Spatchcock the turkey and place skin-side up on a rack that is placed onto a rimmed baking sheet. See our tutorial on How to Spatchcock.
- Rub zest mixture all over the turkey, including under the skin and within the cavity. Cover the turkey with plastic wrap, place in the refrigerator and chill for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 450 F.
- Place the sage sprigs, reserved orange slices and sliced onions in an even layer onto a cheesecloth and place the cheesecloth onto a rack within a roasting pan.
- Place the turkey over the cheesecloth of sage, orange and onion onto the roasting rack. Allow the turkey to sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes.
- Drizzle turkey with oil, add chicken stock to the pan, and roast for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 F. Rotate pan, add water to pan, and drizzle turkey with more oil. Continue roasting the turkey, drizzling with oil after 30 minutes, until the skin is deep golden brown and crisp and when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast right against breastbone registers 160 F, approximately 55–65 minutes more.
- Transfer turkey to a clean cutting board, tent with foil, and let rest at least 30 minutes before carving.