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Crisp-Skin High-Roast Butterflied Turkey with Sausage Dressing


To cook a turkey in two hours without filling the kitchen with smoke and drying out the breast meat, we developed a butterflied turkey recipe, which gave us crisp skin and evenly cooked meat. For smoke prevention, we roasted our butterflied turkey set over the stuffing—which absorbs the drippings—in a broiler pan. A high oven temperature of 450 degrees got the job done in 90 minutes.

If you prefer not to brine your turkey, we recommend a kosher bird. The dressing can be made with cornbread, challah, or Italian bread, but note that they are not used in equal amounts. If you don’t own a broiler pan top or if yours does not span the roasting pan, try a sturdy wire rack that rests comfortably on top of a 12 by 16-inch disposable roasting pan. Cover the rack with a large sheet of heavy-duty foil, fold excess foil under, spray it with nonstick cooking spray, and, with a paring knife, cut slits in the foil for fat drainage.

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  • Turkey
  • 2 cups kosher salt or 1 cup table salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 turkey (12 to 14 pounds gross weight), rinsed thoroughly; giblets, neck, and tailpiece removed and reserved for gravy, and turkey butterflied---
  • 1 . Holding turkey upright with backbone facing front, use hacking motion to cut directly to left of backbone with chef’s knife.
  • 2 . Continue cutting to left of backbone until cut is complete.
  • 3 . Holding backbone with one hand, hack directly to right of backbone until backbone is cut free.
  • 4 . Using scissors, cut between ribs and skin. Then cut out rib plates and remove any small pieces of bone.
  • 5 . Place turkey breast-side up on cutting board and cover with plastic wrap. With large rolling pin, whack breastbone until it cracks and turkey flattens.
  • 6 . After brining and rinsing, place turkey breast-side up on broiler pan top. Tuck wings under turkey. Push legs up to rest on lower portion of breast. Tie legs together.)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • Sausage Dressing
  • 12 cups cornbread broken into 1-inch pieces (include crumbs), or 18 cups 1-inch challah or Italian bread cubes (from about 1 1/2 loaves)
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 2 large eggs, beaten lightly
  • 12 ounces bulk pork sausage, broken into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 medium onions, chopped fine (about 3 cups)
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped fine (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh sage leaves
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper


Servings 10
Preparation time 1020mins
Cooking time 1140mins
Adapted from


Step 1

1. To Brine the Turkey: Dissolve salt and sugar in 2 gallons cold water in large stockpot or clean bucket. Add turkey and refrigerate or set in very cool spot (not more than 40 degrees) for 8 hours.

2. For the Dressing: While turkey brines, adjust one oven rack to upper-middle position and second rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 250 degrees. Spread bread in even layers on 2 rimmed baking sheets and dry in oven 40 to 50 minutes for challah or Italian bread or 50 to 60 minutes for cornbread.

3. Place bread in large bowl. Whisk together stock, half-and-half, and eggs in medium bowl; pour over bread and toss gently to coat so bread does not break into smaller pieces. Set aside.

4. Heat heavy-bottomed, 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until hot, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until sausage loses its raw color, 5 to 7 minutes. With slotted spoon, transfer sausage to medium bowl. Add about half of onions and celery to fat in skillet; sauté, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer onion mixture to bowl with sausage. Return skillet to heat and add 2 tablespoons butter; when foam subsides, add remaining celery and onions and sauté, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in thyme, sage, and garlic; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds; add salt and pepper. Add this mixture along with sausage and onion mixture to bread and stir gently to combine, trying not to break bread into smaller pieces.

5. Spray disposable aluminum 12 by 16-inch roasting pan with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer dressing to roasting pan and spread in even layer. Cover pan with foil and refrigerate until needed.

6. To Prepare Turkey for Roasting: Set slotted broiler pan top on top of roasting pan with foil-covered dressing and spray with nonstick cooking spray; set roasting pan on baking sheet to support bottom. Remove turkey from brine and rinse well under cool running water. Butterfly and position turkey on broiler pan top; thoroughly pat surface of turkey dry with paper towels. Refrigerate turkey and dressing, uncovered, 8 to 24 hours.

7. To Roast Turkey with Dressing: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Remove broiler pan top with turkey and foil cover over roasting pan; replace broiler pan top with turkey. Brush turkey with melted butter. Place entire assembly with turkey in oven and roast until turkey skin is crisp and deep brown and instant-read thermometer reads 165 degrees when inserted in thickest part of breast and 175 degrees in thickest part of thigh, 80 to 100 minutes, rotating pan from front to back after 40 minutes.

8. Transfer broiler pan top with turkey to cutting board, tent loosely with foil, and let rest 20 minutes. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to upper-middle position, place roasting pan with dressing back in oven, and bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Cool dressing 5 minutes, then spoon into bowl or onto turkey serving platter. Carve turkey and serve.


1. With sharp carving knife, cut both leg quarters off turkey.

2. Cut both wing pieces off breast section.

3. Slice straight down along breastbone. Continue to slice down, with knife hugging rib bones, to remove breast meat from bones.

4. Beginning at narrow end of breast, slice meat across grain, about 1⁄4 inch thick.

5. Pull thigh and drumstick apart and locate joint. Cut through joint, separating it into two pieces.

6. Remove largest pieces of meat from thigh and slice meat across grain, about 1/4 inch thick.)

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