Butterflied Turkey Two-Ways

Have the butcher remove the backbone of the turkey and crack the breast bone so the bird will lie flat. We don't recommend a frozen turkey, but if you've bought one, and you have to do this yourself, cut along both sides of the backbone with kitchen shears, turn the turkey over and, with a sharp knife, whack the breast bone so it cracks. I do not recommend flattening a turkey that weighs more than 14 pounds. Seasoned butter under the skin adds flavour.


  • One 12-pound turkey
  • Seasoned butter
  • 6 ounces butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • 3 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


  • 3 tablespoons turkey drippings (or butter if using barbecue)
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups chicken or turkey stock
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon redcurrant jelly
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


Combine the butter with paprika, garlic, tarragon, chives, parsley, salt and pepper and mix together. Using a teaspoon or your fingers, make a space between the skin and meat of the turkey and spread seasoned butter underneath the skin and over the legs.

Oven Method:

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Place turkey on a large, rimmed baking sheet, folding the legs into towards each other to protect the breast from overcooking. Turn wing tips under. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, rub with a little extra butter and bake for 1 hour 30 minutes to 1 hour 50 minutes, basting occasionally, or until an oven thermometer reads 165 F at the thickest part of the turkey (where the leg meets the body). Remove turkey from oven and let rest for 10 minutes.

Drain turkey drippings into a skillet, discarding as much fat as possible. Add flour and whisk until incorporated. Pour in stock and soy sauce, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add redcurrant jelly and season with salt and pepper.

Remove legs and split into drumsticks and thighs. Cut breast lengthwise and carve into pieces. Lay all meat on a platter and serve with sauce.

BBQ Method:

Preheat grill to high, then turn off middle or side burner. Grilling temperature should be about 450 F. If not, turn the other burner on low until you get to the desired temperature.

Place turkey, bone side down, on the turned off (or low heat) side of the grill and grill for 90 to 100 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 165 F. Be sure to check several spots as the barbecue does not cook as evenly as the oven. Remove turkey from grill and let rest for 10 minutes. Serves 8