Spatchcocking and Magic Pots

Sometimes you have to do a thing just to say you’ve done the thing.

That’s really why I decided to spatchcock a turkey. And I spatchcocked the shit out of that turkey. My suggestion is that you attempt to spatchcock a turkey someday so you, too, can claim that you are a spatchcocker.

To be a spatchcocker, you need a bird.  You need to remove all of the presents the bird people leave inside him, and then you rinse him and dry him.  And then you cut out his back bone.

I just love how sinister that sounds.

This is definitely work for the girlfriend of a Serial Killer.  I used some cheap kitchen shears that I bought during a very painful pre-Thanksgiving trip to my local Walmart.  Any relatively sharp scissors will work to at least get you started (you can finish with a knife), but as anyone with kids knows, scissors disappear in my house.  I think they are living with approximately 437 rolls of tape, hundreds of solo socks, and all of the writing utensils that my kids can never find when it’s time to do homework.

After you have ceremoniously spread open your now spineless bird, you place him on a hard surface to press him flat.  Basically, you do a little CPR pump on each breast.  I used a disposable turkey roasting pan for his final resting place because I’m lazy and hate scrubbing pans when there is an alternative that costs less than a dollar.

I mixed lemon and orange zest with minced garlic, and rubbed it all over under the skin. I use garlic in almost everything I make, so I buy the giant jars of pre-minced garlic in water.  Again, I’m lazy.  Also, I am not a fan of smelling like a vampire slayer every time I cook.  I consider this a small way in which I delegate tedious tasks to make my life a little easier.

I lubed up my bird with some olive oil, salt, and pepper.  I then placed the slices of my zested citrus under and around my now seasoned and spatchcocked turkey.  Maybe ten minutes of prep – tops.  I think I was finished even before my oven was preheated to 450.

Half hour at 450, then I turned it down to about 400.  My 13+lb. turkey took about an hour and ten minutes to get to the safe 165 degrees in the thickest part of his big ol’ thigh.

He was beautiful.  And, I’m going to say it, he was so MOIST.  Even the white meat was dripping with juices.

I will say, the citrus flavor was a little odd when my sister-in-law made gravy from the drippings, but I didn’t really consider that since I am one of the three people on the planet who does not like gravy.

I will never roast a turkey the traditional way again.  I’m a spatchcocker for life.

Oh, magic pots.

Magic pots have changed my life.  The Serial Killer bought me my first magic pot because I made a comment that I wanted a pressure cooker someday at the farmhouse.  That’s what the Serial Killer does.  He remembers little random comments that eject from my mouth, and he brings me presents.  Feel free to gag.

Technically, they are called “Instant Pots,” but I have and will continue to call them magic pots because they are truly magic.  This is a link to the one I have: Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer.  Yes, it’s an affiliate link, but I figure I have told so many people about them already, I may as well be a paid spokesperson.  There are ALWAYS sales on these things, so if the price isn’t quite right, check back.  Or, I’m sure Amazon will let you know, as I’m always getting emails to remind me of things I throw in my cart and leave there until I can find ways to justify the purchase.

Magic pots are ri-don-culous.  

I actually have two now, because – well, because I have a Serial Killer.  I’ve made applesauce, chicken and dumplings, carrot-ginger soup, steel-cut oats, short ribs, pot roast…I mean everything can be thrown in the magic pot.  I’ll link recipes to my favorites as I get them written, but anyone who has seen me cook knows that it will take a bit of time.  I don’t use or write down recipes.  I’m a hack.  If you like something I’ve cooked, chances are I threw a bunch of stuff together and have virtually no idea what the measurements were, or how to do it again.  This recipe thing will be a learning curve for me.

This particular magic pot holiday resulted in mashed potatoes, baked yams, deviled eggs, and a whole lot of ooh’s and ahh’s.

The potatoes and yams are amazing simply because they cook so quickly and they aren’t clogging up the burner space on the stove.

The deviled eggs were my magic pot coup de grâce because (imagine the most excited infomercial voice) THE EGGS JUST JUMP OUT OF THE SHELLS!! I’m not even kidding.  The first time I made “boiled” eggs in the magic pot, I cooked two and a half DOZEN eggs. I didn’t need two and a half dozen boiled eggs.  I just happened to have that many in my fridge.

I am a splinter freak, pimple popper, and all other strangely satisfying OCD-related-things kind of person.  That includes peeling eggs.  However, trying to peel boiled eggs is one of my love-hate issues.  In the pre-magic-pot-years, I would reluctantly pull the first egg out of the sink in the hopes that it would be the one.  You know what I’m talking about: the egg whose shell doesn’t take half of the white part with it, and it emerges perfect and free of shell.  I tried every available technique.  I started with cold water, hot water, fridge eggs, room-temperature eggs, varied times of cooking and sitting in the water, dumped them in an ice bath, baked them in a muffin tin…. all in search of the method that would yield the one.  Well, my search ended with the magic pot.

I cram as many eggs on the trivet as I can, which is usually about 12-14 eggs.  Add a cup of cold water to the magic pot, set the manual button to 8 minutes, do a quick release – and then (infomercial voice) prepare to be amazed! Carefully (my family will laugh at this, as I dumped the eggs from the trivet TWICE during my demonstration), move the eggs to a bowl and run them under cool water just so you can handle them.

And then peel.  Peel like you have never peeled before.

You’re welcome.

My family holiday was full of laughter, six naughty kids, tons of food, two grouchy old dogs, three annoying young dogs, a little blood (my niece decided to head-butt the ceiling on the way down the stairs), two fevered babies due to suspected Hand-Foot-Mouth-Disease, about 20 collective hours of tattoos for the three adults, and more love than I deserve.  We stuffed ourselves with spatchcocked turkey and enough hugs to get us through to the next visit.

I hope your Thanksgiving was as memorable as mine was.

And I hope you spatchcock the shit out of your next turkey, and get yourself a magic pot.


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