Learn how to butterfly a turkey, chicken or any other poultry with these simple steps. When you butterfly a bird, you allow it to cook even faster! This is a great technique that can seriously speed up cooking time, as illustrated in the 90-Minute Roast Turkey. It's also a great method to use on the grill, as demoed in Herbed Chicken Under Bricks!
Butterflying a turkey takes some sharp tools, and a lot of power. So grab your best kitchen shears, cleavers, or knives, and let's get started.
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Step 1: Cut Out the Spine
Using a sharp knife or STRONG butcher shears (these Wusthof ones were great, but still required the cleaver!), cut along both sides of the spine of the turkey. Also cut off the extra fat at the top of the spine, if necessary.
The ribs get really sharp once they've been cut, so I recommend you cut out the rib plates and remove any small pieces of bone.
Step 2: Crack the Breastbone
I found it easiest to crack the breastbone with a cleaver before trying to flatten the bird. You could also try just flipping the bird over and using a rolling pin or a serious karate chop to break that bone.
Step 3: Flatten the Bird
One the breastbone is cracked, flatten the bird.
Many recipes then tell you to tuck the wings under the breast (difficult! but does prevent blackening), and truss the legs together, scooching them up onto the breast.
Hope this was a helpful tutorial and that you'll try your hand at butterflying soon!