Bybutterflying the turkey, the term is called "Spatchcocking*, the cooking time is greatly reduced. I learned how to do this many years ago in culinary school and fell in love with the technique.
For the turkey: 1 12-pound turkey 3 tablespoons chopped thyme 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary 3 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 2 medium onions, rough chopped 2 large carrots, rough chopped 3 celery ribs, rough chopped Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Place the turkey breast side down on a sturdy cutting board. I like to put a couple of paper towels under the turkey so it does not slide while I am cutting it.
Cut along either side of the backbone from the neck to the tail. Remove the back bone and spread open the turkey. Cut a small slit in the cartilage along the breast bone. With both hands, crack open the turkey by opening it like a book.
This will reveal the keel bone, (cartilage that runs in the middle of the breast.) Pull up on the keel bone to remove it. The turkey is now ready to cook. This whole procedure is very simple, only involves cutting one bone and should only take a couple of minutes.
Place the chopped vegetables in a large roasting pan. Season the turkey on both sides with salt and pepper. Rub the bird with olive oil and the chopped herbs.
Place the turkey on the vegetables, breast side up. (The vegetables will keep the turkey from sitting in its juices and getting soggy. The vegetables also scent the turkey drippings)
Roast the turkey for 20 minutes, lower the heat to 325 and continue roasting, brushing with pan juices occasionally for 1 hour.
Brush with juices and continue roasting for another 15 minutes.
Remove the turkey and tent with foil and allow to rest for 20 minutes before cutting.
Discard the vegetables and reserve the turkey drippings. Skim off the fat and set aside.
Serve the turkey with Spiced Stone Fruit Compote (recipe below).
Yield: Serves 8+
Black Pepper Spiced Stone Fruit Compote
If you cannot bear to let go of summer and want to hold on to it through the Jewish Holidays, try this fragrant compote. End of the summer stone fruit are sweet and fragrant. I like to make a large batch of the compote and serve it with Roasted Turkey, duck or chicken. For an easy weeknight dessert in the sukkah, I serve the compote over yogurt or vanilla ice cream as summer’s last hurrah.
3 cups coarsely chopped stone fruit, such as peaches, nectarines, and plums (about 1 pound total) 2 tablespoons honey Coarse salt 1 star anise 1 wide strip lemon zest 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns Special Equipment (cheesecloth, kitchen twine)
Cut a 4-inch square of cheesecloth. Tie the spices and lemon zest in the cheesecloth and secure with twine.
In a small saucepan, combine fruit, honey, pinch of salt, water and spice bag. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until fruit is soft, about 30 minutes. Transfer the compote and let cool.
Yield: 2 cups
Recipes: Poultry, Turkey, Fruit Compote, Meat, Kosher
Watch the following video on how to butterfly a turkey or