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Virtual Potluck Thanksgiving with OXO {Flat Roasted Turkey & Cranberry Sauce}

by Milisa on November 9, 2012

Flat Roasted Turkey

Thanksgiving can be a wonderful relaxing time with your family and friends.  It can also be a high stress, what was I thinking hosting a dinner for 30 people, kind of crazy.  Myself, I always choose the crazy and after reading this you will believe me!

Over the next week Virtual Potluck is teaming up with OXO to take the stress out of Thanksgiving.

First off we have the Big Kahuna, the turkey.  I’ve heard of ladies climbing out of bed in the middle of the night to start the Thanksgiving turkey so that it would be ready and give all of the other dishes time to cook.  Do away with that craziness (hey I need all of the sleep I can get) and cook a flat turkey also called spatchcocking.

I watched a quick video by Mark Bittman to get me started.  Basically you remove the breast bone I mean back bone and press the turkey flat, creating more even cooking throughout the breast and thighs and in less time.  Sounds like a good idea, right?

Look at the photo, I removed the breast bone instead of the back bone.  Even after watching the video I still had it wrong in my brain. It wasn’t scary at all and it was actually really easy using the OXO Poultry Shears.  Man those things are SHARP! Plus it’s fun to say, “I gotta go spatchcock a turkey.”  Makes me feel like I’m on Top Chef or something.

Well maybe not considering I did it upside down.  I tend to mess up a lot, not just in the kitchen, thank goodness there’s nobody standing around tallying my mistakes!  Should I put a disclaimer in that says, hey I am a regular person and I make lots of mistakes and I am not an expert?  Maybe we just all laugh and move on.

So when I got the breast bone out, I realized, holy cow I think I did it wrong.  I watched the video again. Thought it is too late now and went ahead with the method.

No need to cry over spilled milk or spatchcock turkey, right?  This is supposed to be fun and if it tastes good then that’s what really counts!  My theory is to make the best out of it, especially in the kitchen.

Turn the turkey over and mash it down as flat as you can.  Place in a roasting pan and proceed as you normally would.  I placed a lemon, sage and rosemary under the turkey, drizzled the skin with olive oil, salt and pepper.  I tucked  a few garlic cloves around and a little fresh thyme around the wings and legs.

I followed the cooking instructions from the video and used the OXO Digital Leave-In Thermometer.  Last year the USDA changed the internal temperature of  fully cooked turkeys from 180 degrees to 165 degrees.  Check your turkey in several places to make sure it is done.  Let the turkey rest for about 20 minutes before slicing. (Because I did it backwards, upside down, inside out etc… my turkey took a little longer to cook!)

Now would you like to see a gorgeous post where Matt did it correctly?  Click on over to Thyme in Our Kitchen and you can see how it’s really done.

Thanksgiving turkey doesn’t seem complete without some cranberry sauce, now does it?  I don’t really like the stuff that comes out of the can but we have it anyway because it’s tradition or the kids love it or something.  Sometimes I try out a new recipe just to change it up.  A few years ago I made a cranberry sauce with horseradish, it was different but not my favorite.

I did some looking through my cookbooks and looked around the internets and settled on this recipe from The Pioneer Woman.  It was extremely simple, I had all of the ingredients on hand and it turned out just as good as she promised.  I think it’s a keeper for me.

I added a few sprigs of fresh thyme to her recipe and I also ran about half of the mixture through my OXO Potato Ricer to change up the consistency a little.

The OXO Potato Ricer is my new favorite kitchen tool!  I usually make mashed (whipped) potatoes in the mixer but from now on we will have the fluffiest mashed potatoes thanks to the OXO Potato Ricer!

Don’t forget to check out the other great Thanksgiving recipes from Virtual Potluck and look for OXO giveaways too!  Featuring a these great products and MORE to make your Thanksgiving dinner a cinch! Hint: OXO giveaway here tomorrow!

In the mean time follow OXO on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

Flat Roasted Turkey

adapted from Mark Bittman


  • 1 7-10 pound turkey, thawed completely (mine was 10 pound Butterball)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (I used Star Garlic Olive Oil)
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 lemon cut in half
  • 3 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 4 garlic cloves

Cooking Directions:

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Wash turkey and pat dry.  Using a pair of poultry shears or a sharp knife, remove the breast bone and discard (or use it to make stock or the gravy).

Turn turkey over onto a flat surface a press to flatten.  Place in a roasting pan, cut side down.

Place lemon, sage, and rosemary under turkey.  Pour olive oil over skin, sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place garlic cloves and thyme sprigs under wings and around legs, tucking them in.

Place leave in thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh area.

Roast turkey for 20 minutes.  Baste turkey with juices and lower oven temperature to 400°F (350° if turkey is browning too fast).  Continue to bake until turkey reaches 165-175 degrees in several places, about 40-50 minutes depending on the size of your turkey and how your oven cooks.

Remove from oven and allow to rest 20 minutes before slicing.

Serve with cranberry sauce and all of your favorite fixings!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Disclosure: I was provided OXO products for review, but I was not compensated for this post.  All opinions are my own!




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{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

30A EATS November 9, 2012 at 10:24 pm

We do this often using chicken, and last year did our turkey the same. Yours came out gorgeous even if it was the breast bone. No worries-kitchen mishaps happen all of the time! Love the OXO Ricer! It is a powerhouse tool! Great post and love all of the helpful links!


Matt November 9, 2012 at 10:33 pm

Looks beautiful! I love that you used the ricer for the cranberry sauce!


Vanessa Anthony November 10, 2012 at 12:51 am

I love this idea of spatchcocking a turkey. I’ve done this with chicken, after reading it in one of Nigella’s recipes years ago, but never thought of using it on turkey. Awesome idea Miss — even if you did it in reverse (worked just as well, right? So who’s to say it’s wrong!) ;)


Rachel Cooks November 10, 2012 at 1:30 am

That’s a gorgeous turkey! Love it!


Jenny November 10, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Spatchcock is my favorite word! Love that you did it with turkey.


Robin Chesser November 11, 2012 at 10:03 am

Very smart of you to use the ricer on the cranberries!


christopher sorel November 11, 2012 at 10:04 am

from the pictures need to get me a ricer


Bonnie K November 11, 2012 at 10:12 am

I had never heard of spatchcocking. I had to laugh–love it. I actually like this idea of cooking it.


Robin @ Simply Southern Baking November 11, 2012 at 10:26 am

Yum! What a fabulous looking turkey!


Maureen November 11, 2012 at 10:41 am

I have not added rosemary to my chicken. I have a fresh rosemary bush too in my home and I usually add it to my Italian meals. I see that you have the fresh rosemary added as an herb to the turkey. I am sure it adds such a special flavor to the end product.


Jan B. November 11, 2012 at 10:44 am

Haven’t tried to spatchcock a bird yet. But I see those poultry/kitchen shears would be a good addtion to a kitchen… I always fall for a good cranberry dish..


Gin November 11, 2012 at 11:24 am

I’ve never tried a ricer on potatoes–I may have to give it a shot!


Cindy Brickley November 11, 2012 at 6:16 pm

I never made a flat turkey before, looks very interesting and I will have to try this. I love OXO products, I could use the thermometer and the baster. My baster is so old and the rubber bulb is starting to dry rot. Time to get a new one.


barbara n November 11, 2012 at 7:54 pm

Interesting, have never tried a turkey this way….may try it, but I love to stuff my turkey


Earen Hummel November 11, 2012 at 8:39 pm

I’m coming over for dinner! That all looks amazing. I have never spatchcocked a turkey. Must try it.


Nicole L November 11, 2012 at 9:23 pm

Thanks for the info about the potato ricer! Each year we make potatoes but they don’t come out fluffy and hardly anyone eats them. I’m looking forward to trying them this year!


Tanya Phillips November 11, 2012 at 9:27 pm

Looks beautiful! I love the idea using the potato ricer for the cranberries, clever! I have been wanting to try using a potato ricer.


Pam November 11, 2012 at 10:03 pm

I love the idea of using the ricer on the cranberries everything looks so good. I can’t wait for Thanksgiving!


Shelly November 11, 2012 at 10:30 pm

That’s a beautiful looking turkey!


Debbie November 11, 2012 at 10:48 pm

Interesting…I have never seen a bird spatcocked throught the breast…and it still looks wonderful! I love how you don’t freak out and just keep cooking! And you ended up with such a great brown color…I want to try some!


Lana @ Never Enough Thyme November 11, 2012 at 11:50 pm

I’ve done spatchcocked chicken on the grill (btw – best chicken ever!) but never tried a turkey. This would be a fantastic idea especially if you’re a little late getting dinner going.


Amanda Thompson November 12, 2012 at 2:51 am

Gorgeous turkey ~ I love the golden-brown crispy skin!!


Jeffrey November 12, 2012 at 2:55 am

You never know, maybe your method actually is better than “spatchcocking”. All you need to do is make up a word and be confident when you tell people how to do it! With your reputation they will believe and probably forget all about the other “wrong” method!


Rebecca November 12, 2012 at 3:24 am

I would love to win the Potato Ricer. I’ve seen more and more recipes using them, and I would love to try it out.


Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious November 12, 2012 at 7:02 am

Yes, thanksgiving is awesome but so stressful if you’re doing all the cooking. I hosted Christmas dinner last year (which was a traditional thanksgiving meal) and I was so pooped out that I could barely eat by the end of the night! I just wanted to sleep!

Btw that potato ricer is so awesome. It’s been on my bucket list for a while now!


MaryB November 12, 2012 at 8:02 am

This looks wonderful! What a great idea. Thanks for posting.


Susan in the Boonies November 12, 2012 at 8:07 am

Your turkey looks great, and I am coveting those poultry sheers!
If you visit my blog, you’ll find some great wine recommendations for your holiday meal!


jacquie November 12, 2012 at 8:53 am

the potatoe ricer looks like it would be a handy tool to have around


Nicole-Lynn November 12, 2012 at 9:12 am

Oh my goodness, this turkey recipe and cranberry sauce to go with it looks so delicious! Thank you for posting the step by step process and sharing the recipe! I’ll have to make that sauce for Thanksgiving! Thank you for the idea.


Robin M November 12, 2012 at 9:18 am

I love OXO products! They make like so much easier and you are giving away some on my wish list.


Aggie November 12, 2012 at 9:47 pm

I really like this way of cooking turkey! Sounds delicious!


Jan November 12, 2012 at 10:48 pm

This looks delicious.


Kristy Cirillo November 13, 2012 at 6:27 am

Your pictures are amazing! Great job with all the tools!!


stacy johnson November 13, 2012 at 11:01 am

I stink at cooking ….but your great recipes along with the detailed photos really help me!!! My family says “thanks” Ive been cooking a little better since following your posts!!! :)


Milisa November 13, 2012 at 11:02 am

Stacy, you just made my day! So glad the recipes are working out for you!


Meghan Finley November 13, 2012 at 11:33 am

This is exactly what I did the first time too! Although sadly without an awesome video. :) Love the recipe!


nik November 13, 2012 at 8:42 pm

I love the idea of using the ricer for cranberry sauce! I actually would love to try it on blueberries and raspberries for an ice cream topping. :)


Mona Jensen November 13, 2012 at 10:14 pm

Wow! The food here looks fantastic! I think the potato ricer would propel my bland, chunky mashed potatoes into a new food realm! I don’t think I realized I needed it until I read this blog! Thank you!! :-)


Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles November 14, 2012 at 2:31 am

I have never (NEVER!) used a potato ricer. Now I feel like I’ve been missing out! Everything you made looks delicious!


Megan November 14, 2012 at 4:02 am

Your turkey look amazing!!! I love the flavor combination you used, cranberry and turkey were just meant to be! :)


Lanae Workman November 14, 2012 at 4:10 am

Wow. those are some great ideas! I think i might use these to do a test run for thanksgiving! Thanks!


Kristen M. November 14, 2012 at 12:34 pm

I’ve made chicken using this method a couple times and the results have been great. Never thought to use the method for cooking a turkey.


Angie November 14, 2012 at 9:55 pm

A digital thermometer is key to the perfect turkey!


Sommer@ASpicyPerspective November 15, 2012 at 12:09 am

Looks moist and delish!!


Teresa Organ November 15, 2012 at 7:09 am

Looks yummy!


diabeticFoodie November 15, 2012 at 9:08 pm

Sometimes “mistakes” turn out the best and they make great stories too! So smart to use the ricer for the cranberries!


Kim in MD November 15, 2012 at 10:39 pm

That is one gorgeous turkey! I have roasted a turkey this way before- it’s known as a spatchcocked bird. It cuts the cooking time and makes for a very moist bird!


Shari-Tickled Red November 16, 2012 at 12:19 am

Oh my gosh I’ve never roasted one flat, thanks for the tips! Gorgeous bird love :D


Cydnee November 16, 2012 at 9:04 am

The kitchen shears look awesome! I love OXO products!


Marge B November 16, 2012 at 9:31 am

I have never heard of a spatchcocked bird, but I’d love to have those shears.


JimRhino November 16, 2012 at 11:32 pm

This prep looks so easy and should make cooking the bird faster too. I’ve spatchcocked a chix, but never tried a turkey. Those OXO tools would sure make life easier! ;-)
Carpe Cuisine,


JimRhino November 16, 2012 at 11:43 pm

Those shears are pretty wicked-cool, and the probe therm would be SO useful, but I have always wanted a ricer. I’m not picky and would very much appreciate any of the awesome tools used here. Thank you for opportunity!
Carpe Cuisine,


Sabrina5000 November 17, 2012 at 3:15 am

The cranberry sauce looks amazing and you use a ricer. well that’s awesome. I had never thought of that before.


Malerie C. November 18, 2012 at 9:34 am

What a cool use for a potato ricer!


lyrelia November 27, 2013 at 9:00 am

I also spatchcocked the wrong way. Oops…I just couldn’t figure out how to get the spine out! So glad I found your page to let me know it’s still going to turn out okay!


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