Spatchcocked Turkey With Anise And Orange

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Spatchcocking (or “butterflying”) a whole turkey or chicken is a great way to ensure even roasting (and make you feel like a butchering pro).  Follow the directions below, or watch this video for step-by-step instructions.

Recipe adapted for kosher cooking from Bon Appetit Magazine.


  • 5 teaspoons aniseed
  • ¼ cup finely grated orange zest, plus 4 wide strips orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh rosemary, sprig reserved
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, sprigs reserved
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 12–14-lb. turkey
  • 2 medium onions, quartered
  • 4 large carrots, peeled, halved
  • 4 celery stalks
  • 3 heads garlic, halved
  • ½ cup olive oil


  1. Toast aniseed in a dry small skillet over medium heat, tossing occasionally, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Let cool; finely grind in a spice mill or a mortar and pestle. (Alternatively, chop with a knife.)
  2. Finely chop grated zest, sugar, chopped rosemary, thyme leaves, pepper, and 4 tsp. aniseed in a food processor.
  3. Spatchcock the turkey: Place turkey, skin side down, on a cutting board. Use a knife to score down long oblong bone in the center of breast. Turn skin side up and press down on breastbone to flatten. You should hear a crack and feel the bones give way. Rub all over with salt mixture; place turkey, skin side up, on a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet and chill, uncovered, 6-8 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 325F. Arrange onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and thyme and rosemary sprigs in a roasting pan. Rinse turkey, pat dry, and place, skin side up, on top of vegetables; let sit at room temperature 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, heat oil, orange zest strips, and remaining aniseed in a small saucepan until oil is sizzling, about 2 minutes; let cool slightly.
  6. Brush turkey with oil, add ½ cup water to pan.  Roast turkey, brushing with oil every 20 minutes, until skin is deep golden brown and crisp and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 165°, about 1 hour longer. Transfer to a platter; tent with foil and let rest at least 30 minutes before carving.

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