Roasted Turkey … or Chicken …’In a Hurry’ !

++   A 10 lb. turkey – COOKED ‘IN A HURRY’! – takes approximately 1 1/2 hours to 1 3/4 hours.    ++   A 10 lb. turkey – cooked in the usual way – takes approximately 3 to 3 1/2 hours.
++ I cut out the breastbone of the bird.  A spatchcocked fowl has the backbone removed.

– – –

I recently visited a local ‘meat outlet’ where I purchased a 10 pound frozen turkey.  I immediately thought DINNER PARTY!  As the old adage goes (from a poem by Robert Burns) The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men often go awry and my dinner party idea just didn’t work out.  Instead, at the last minute, I ended up preparing the turkey at one of my friend’s homes.  It was the day after a ‘Women’s Night Out’ and I’m surprised we had the energy, but between the two of us we put together a delicious turkey dinner in about two hours!!

Here’s the secret to cooking a 10 pound turkey so quickly – you simply cut out the breast bone and lay the turkey or chicken down flat!!  I used to do this all the time with whole chickens when we lived at our farm in Quebec and often fed masses of people, including neighbors, friends, family and visitors!!

++ To estimate how long it will take to roast a turkey or chicken this way, calculate how long it would usually take, then plan on cooking your bird a bit more than half the time … or so.   ++ Be sure to use a meat thermometer to ascertain exactly when the turkey/chicken is fully cooked.

                                   How to Roast a Turkey – or a Chicken – “In a Hurry” !

Preheat oven to 425F     ++ You will be lowering heat to 350F after 20 minutes.

  • If you bought a frozen turkey/chicken – it must be thoroughly defrosted.  Be be sure, just stick your hand inside….
  • Lay the bird – breast side up – on a large cutting board.  Using a sharp knife, cut the flesh and skin from the breastbone on both sides. Pull the breastbone forward, then cut the breastbone from the rest of the body     ++ Look for the place where the breastbone is attached to the body… there’s a joint there, so it’s easier to cut.    ++ Leave breast meat attached to the rest of the body.

++ A wooden cutting board is probably best as the bird won’t slip as easily.  Just be sure to wash it well after and include a drop of bleach in the water you’re washing it in.

  • Rub turkey/chicken skin with some olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper and thyme etc. – whatever you feel like sprinkling the meat with such as Montreal Steak Seasonings or Chili Powder.

Ready to go !!  Roasted Turkey, or Chicken, in a Hurry ... My Yellow

  • Place prepared turkey/chicken on a rack set in a low-sided pan.

++ I highly recommend a rack like the one shown which has handles for lifting the finished bird out of the oven.  They’re easy to find and aren’t expensive.  In fact, I just checked at Bed, Bath & Beyond and you can get one for under $10.00!

++ If you don’t happen to have a rack, crunch aluminum foil into a coil  & place turkey/chicken on top. Or (and this gives more flavor) place large pieces of cut up onion, apple or orange (with the skin) under the open part of the turkey/chicken.

  • Place the pan on middle rack of oven set at 425 F.
  • Set timer for for 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes, lower heat to 350F
  • Continue to roast bird until thermometer placed in the thickest part of the leg (close to where the thigh meets the body) reaches 180°F.   ++ The temperature is usually 170°F – but I recommend 180°F for this method.

• Lift bird onto platter, and let stand for 15 to 20 minutes before carving.

++ For gravy, you can simmer the breastbone, along with the neck and heart, in some salted water to which some chopped onion has been added.  Use this simmered liquid, instead of water, when you make your gravy. For a really easy gravy, I use two packets Durkee’s Turkey Gravy prepared with some of the simmered liquid, drippings from the pan and, if you have it, a bit of red wine.   Enjoy !  

Roasted Turkey, or Chicken,  In a Hurry.. My Yellow

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My Yellow Farmhouse - Cooking with Love!

Sure, it's necessary to eat to survive - but that's not any fun!! The fun comes from cooking, serving and eating with lots of love, I began this blog to share some of the delicious recipes I've gathered over the years. Thanks for dropping by & sharing the love!

18 thoughts on “Roasted Turkey … or Chicken …’In a Hurry’ !

  1. Okay so not only am I way behind in reading…but I missed these posts way back in April! What a terrific idea about taking the backbone out of the turkey and spatchcocking it, so to speak. It makes me feel like revisiting roasted turkey when the weather is a bit cooler because it doesn’t seem so daunting from a time perspective now. 🙂


    1. I guess what I did is kind of like a ‘backwards spatchcocking’!! I want to try this on the grill but will use a chicken. I’ll post it once I actually do it!! ; o )


    1. Thanks so much Pamela! I haven’t posted anything in a while due to not feeling well – and having not one but two people in my life having some serious health problems. I haven’t even worked in my wonderful flower gardens… But ‘I’ll be back”!! ; o )


  2. Thanks Karen! I kept going back & forth between a chicken and this lovely 10 lb. ‘hen’ turkey, then I thought, “I’m going for the turkey ’cause I’ll have lots of left-overs!”


  3. Cutting the time in half when roasting a turkey is a real selling point for having turkey more often. Your turkey looks beautifully cooked.


  4. Your turkey looks great, Cecile, and your roasting method is very promising, I love roast turkey but only cook it once a year, mostly because of the time involved. Being able to cut the time like this is a very good thing, making it possible for me to serve turkey more often. Oh, who am I kidding. I want roast turkey sandwiches. 🙂 Thanks, Cecile.


    1. Oh – I’m with you John – roasted turkey or chicken sandwiches are THE BEST!! In fact, a place near here sells ‘grinders’ (subs… hoggies) complete with stuffing and cranberry sauce…. We’re talking LOVE, LOVE & LOVE!!


  5. I believe I’m going to become a super-duper ‘Spatchcocker Griller’ this summer! And, as far as ‘In a Hurry’ roasting, this is the first time I’ve roasted an “In a Hurry’ bird without having it nestled on the bottom of the pan in this amazing sauce I used to buy in Quebec. (I forgot the name… I usually buy several when I go to Quebec.) I would set the temp. at 350F, turning the bird(s) every once in awhile. Towards the end of the cooking time, I’d set the oven at 250 and just allow the chicken(s) to stay warm until our visitors came home from their adventures. The chicken(s) were always moist and extremely tender – no matter how long they had to wait. I think I’m going to try to replicate that sauce ’cause it’s so nice to have a meal that ‘waits until you’re ready’!


  6. I have never spatchcocked and roasted turkey in a hurry but the final turkey looks so delicious you’ve left my mouth watering. I have bookmarked it and will try it the next time I have my kids coming around Thanks for sharing!


  7. I have no idea what ‘spatchcocked’ is but I get an idea from your comment. I recommend cutting out the breastbone – I like the way the roasted bird looks when cut that way! I don’t know, actually, which is easier to cut out – the backbone or the breastbone. I’m thinking perhaps the breastbone because you may have to cut through ribs to get the backbone off. About using kitchen shears… I don’t think you would be able to cut the breast meat from the breast bone with kitchen shears BUT you ‘might’ be able to cut through the bone which connects the breastbone to the rest of the body with kitchen shears??? As you said, the dark meat does take longer to cook – I suggest using a meat thermometer for that reason.


    1. So – I just looked up ‘spatchcocked’ chicken. Here’s a link for How To – It seems that its best to spatchcock very small birds and that, the video says, is what spatchcocking is meant for. The chicken in the video is only 2 lbs. – so kitchen shears cut through the tiny ribs very easily. As for a small turkey or a large chicken – I don’t think the shears would work. It seems that the term means ‘to butterfly’ and the French call the bird – after it’s been ‘spatchcocked’ a ‘frog’ because a spatchcocked bird does looks a bit like a frog. A spatchcocked bird lies flatter – so it’s better for grilling. That being said – I like the way my roasted “In a Hurry’ 10 lb. turkey looks (all plump and beautiful) but I would def. consider spatchcocking if I were grilling a chicken.


  8. I’ve been meaning to try this with the turkey in my freezer for a while now cause I know you can spatchcock a chicken … why not a turkey? 🙂

    There’s a problem with the cooking instructions which switches from THIS at the very top.
    Directions ++ Oven set at 350F for first 20 mins, then set at 450F for remainder

    To this for the rest of the recipes.
    Preheat oven to 425F ++ You will be lowering heat to 350F after 20 minutes.


        1. I did want to ask a couple of questions as well. I see that you cut down the breastbone of the turkey unlike the chicken which is normally spatchcocked down the back by removing the backbone. Which is better?

          I know the white meat of the breast cooks faster than the dark meat of the thighs and drumsticks. Does that make a difference in where you would cut? Is it easier to get through the back or the front of the turkey? I am going to use kitchen shears rather than a knife.


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