Holiday Recipes/ Main Dishes

Cajun Maple Glazed Spatchcock Turkey

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Cajun Maple Glazed Spatchcock Turkey is the best way to cook a Thanksgiving turkey that is tender, juicy, and buttery. Seasoned with spicy cajun seasoning and glazed in maple syrup for a delicious blend the whole family will love.  

turkey arranged on white platter with fresh herbs and cranberry

This post has been sponsored by OXO. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

It is almost time for Thanksgiving! 

You may already be planning your menu or if you’re anything like me, then you may be waiting until the last minute to pull everything together. Either way, I’ve got you covered when it comes to the center of the show, the turkey. 

My favorite way to prepare turkey is by roasting it in the oven. However, with time being a factor I prefer to spatchcock or butterfly the turkey to allow it to cook faster. 

What is Spatchcock?

Spatchcocking is a process that breaks down the bird by removing the backbone and flattening out the turkey. This allows the turkey to cook evenly and dramatically reduces the roasting time in the oven. 

Typically a turkey needs to cook 13 to 15 minutes per pound, but when spatchcocked a 10-14 pound turkey can be done in 70 to 90 minutes. 

The process may sound complicated but I assure you it’s not, especially with the help of a few tools from OXO

How to Spatchcock a Turkey:

The most important thing you will need to get started is a pair of poultry shears. Trust me, regular kitchen shears aren’t strong enough to get the job done and using a knife is not advised for safety reasons. Thanksgiving is not a time to take a trip to the ER. 

I’m using the OXO Good Grips Poultry Shears to help me cut with ease. The stainless steel blades are curved and tapered for precision cutting with non-slip handles. 

hand holding a pair of poultry shears in front of raw turkey

  1. Begin with a completely thawed turkey turned breast side down. Using the poultry shears, cut along both sides of the backbone until you are able to remove it completely. Save it to make gravy or store it in a freezer bag to make homemade stock.
  2. Gently stretch open the cavity of the bird to reveal the breastbone inside. Carefully make a small incision in the bone using a knife. This will make it easier to flatten out the turkey.
  3. Flip the turkey over, breast side up, and stretch it out as wide as it will allow. 
  4. Place both of your hands on both sides of the chest of the bird and press down firmly until you hear a snapping sound and the turkey is able to flatten out. 
  5. Tuck the wing tips or cut them off if you prefer. I just leave them on.

Now its time for the herb butter. To make it you will need: 

  • Butter 
  • Garlic
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary

Mix all the ingredients together and generously rub it all over the turkey inside and out. I am talking about everywhere your hand will fit. Leave no area without this mixture because it adds all the flavor to your turkey. 

How to Cook this Turkey?

There are two ways that you may cook this turkey in the oven. 

  1. Place directly on the oven rack with a pan with sides placed on the rack underneath to catch the dripping. 
  2. Use a large roast pan with a little help from the OXO Good Grips Silicone Roasting Rack to give the bird a lift in the pan to allow the juices to drain away from the bird.

Either way is fine, but today I will be placing the turkey directly on the oven rack. 

What temperature to Cook the Turkey?

The turkey should begin baking in the oven at 450 degrees F. for 30 minutes. Remove the turkey from the oven to brush evenly with maple syrup. 

Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. and allow the turkey to cook for an additional 60 minutes. While checking the turkey every 20 minutes using the OXO Good Grips Thermocouple Thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, once the internal temperature registers 165 to 170 degrees it is ready to be removed. 

Remove the turkey from the oven and allow it to rest for 30 to 45 minutes before carving. If you used the roast pan loosely tent the pan with aluminum foil. If you cooked directly on the oven rack, carefully slide the turkey onto a Non-Stick Pro Metal Bakeware set which includes the pan and cooling rack. 

Make a gravy to compliment your turkey and serve it to your friends and family. This is sure to be your new favorite way to prepare turkey any time of the year. 

Want more recipes to complete your Thanksgiving Meal? Try These: 

Cajun Maple Glazed Spatchcock Turkey

Cajun Maple Glazed Spatchcock Turkey is the best way to cook a Thanksgiving turkey that is tender, juicy, and buttery. Seasoned with spicy cajun seasoning and glazed in maple syrup for a delicious blend the whole family will love.  
5 from 13 votes
Print Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cajun turkey, spatchcock turkey
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Resting Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 236.52kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 12 to 20 pound turkey, thawed with neck and giblets removed
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon cajun seasoning
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  • Using a small bowl, stir together the butter, garlic, sage, thyme, rosemary and set aside.
  • Spatchcock the turkey by using the poultry shears, cut along both sides of the backbone until you are able to remove it completely. Save it to make gravy or store it in a freezer bag to make homemade stock.
  • Gently stretch open the cavity of the bird to reveal the breastbone inside. Carefully make a small incision in the bone using a knife. This will make it easier to flatten out the turkey. 
  • Flip the turkey over, breast side up, and stretch it out as wide as it will allow.
  • Place both of your hands on both sides of the chest of the bird and press down firmly until you hear a snapping sound and the turkey is able to flatten out. Tuck the wing tips or cut them off if you prefer.
  • Use your hands to generously spread the herb butter all over the turkey. Don’t forget the area between the skin and meat.
  • Use a paper towel to pat the outside of the turkey to dry it of any excess moisture. Drizzle the olive oil evenly on top of the turkey. Spread with your hands to cover evenly. Evenly sprinkle on the cajun seasoning.
  • Place in a roasting pan or directly on the oven rack with a separate pan placed on the rack underneath to catch the drippings. If you placed directly on the rack, remove using a set of metal spatulas or turkey lifters.
  • Cook the turkey for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush evenly all over with maple syrup. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Return the turkey to the oven to cook.
  • Set a timer to check the turkey every 20 minutes by inserting a thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, once the internal temperature registers 165 to 170 degrees it is ready to be removed.
  • Remove the turkey from the oven. If you used the roast pan loosely tent the pan with aluminum foil. If you cooked directly on the oven rack, carefully transfer the turkey from the oven onto a pan. Allow the turkey time to rest for 30 to 45 minutes before carving.

Nutrition

Calories: 236.52kcal | Carbohydrates: 5.12g | Protein: 0.31g | Fat: 24.43g | Saturated Fat: 10.99g | Cholesterol: 40.73mg | Sodium: 136.35mg | Potassium: 29.84mg | Fiber: 0.24g | Sugar: 4.07g | Vitamin A: 648.97IU | Vitamin C: 1.09mg | Calcium: 18.4mg | Iron: 0.27mg
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32 Comments

  • Reply
    Ashley Rollins
    November 19, 2019 at 2:11 PM

    5 stars
    These photos make it so easy to follow. This looks delicious.

    • Reply
      LaKita
      November 20, 2019 at 1:25 PM

      Thank you Ashley! It is simple with a good pair of poultry shears 🙂

  • Reply
    Erin
    November 19, 2019 at 4:23 PM

    Very timely read just in time for the holidays! Will definitely add the recipe index:)

    • Reply
      LaKita
      November 20, 2019 at 1:26 PM

      Thank you! Just in time!!

  • Reply
    Amber
    November 19, 2019 at 4:52 PM

    Beautifully done! The outside of this turkey just looks spot on…. my mouth is literally watering!

    • Reply
      LaKita
      November 20, 2019 at 1:26 PM

      Thank you! It turned out really well and didn’t last a full day in my house.

  • Reply
    Paula @ I'm Busy Being Awesome
    November 19, 2019 at 4:56 PM

    I love anything maple, I need to give it a go

    • Reply
      LaKita
      November 20, 2019 at 1:27 PM

      Yes please, you won’t regret it!

  • Reply
    Kileen
    November 20, 2019 at 12:55 AM

    This recipe looks and sounds so amazing! I want to try it bad!

    Kileen

    • Reply
      LaKita
      November 20, 2019 at 1:27 PM

      Thank you, it’s really delicious!

  • Reply
    Marta
    November 20, 2019 at 1:50 PM

    5 stars
    I think spatchcocking turkeys should be more of thing. I always suggest it to my family members who can’t seem to understand roasting until FULLY cooked, LOL!!

    • Reply
      LaKita
      November 20, 2019 at 7:44 PM

      I agree!! It is so much easier!! LOL!!

  • Reply
    Amber S Battishill
    November 20, 2019 at 2:45 PM

    This sounds absolutely delicious! Love that spicy and sweet combo. Gorgeous photos too!

    • Reply
      LaKita
      November 20, 2019 at 7:42 PM

      Thank you! It is the best combination!!

  • Reply
    Desiree
    November 20, 2019 at 3:43 PM

    5 stars
    Love how creative this recipe is! If you’re making this for the holidays this year I’m sure the fam won’t be disappointed!

    • Reply
      LaKita
      November 20, 2019 at 7:44 PM

      Thank you!! I will definitely be making it again for the holiday!

  • Reply
    Dawn @ Our Food Fix
    November 20, 2019 at 9:02 PM

    What a delicious turkey variation! I’ve never tried spatchcocking but am so interested!

    • Reply
      LaKita
      November 23, 2019 at 11:40 AM

      Thank you! It is my favorite way to roast turkey in the oven, such a time saver!

  • Reply
    Mila
    November 22, 2019 at 12:09 PM

    5 stars
    Your recipes never disappoint! This is no exception. The outcome looks beautiful and so tasty!

    • Reply
      LaKita
      November 23, 2019 at 11:41 AM

      Thank you so much Mila! This recipe is a keeper for sure!

  • Reply
    Adri Ruff
    November 22, 2019 at 4:49 PM

    5 stars
    This is such a smart way to get your bird in and out on Turkey Day. Thank you so much for sharing!

    • Reply
      LaKita
      November 23, 2019 at 11:41 AM

      Yes! It saves so much time, especially on Turkey Day!

  • Reply
    Jazz
    November 22, 2019 at 8:56 PM

    5 stars
    Cajun turkey is the best! Your method turns out beautifully.

    • Reply
      LaKita
      November 23, 2019 at 11:42 AM

      Thank you Jazz! I love using cajun seasoning whenever I can 🙂

  • Reply
    Katrina Adams
    November 22, 2019 at 9:25 PM

    5 stars
    Your turkey looks amazing and I will definitely be adding this recipe to my collection!!

    • Reply
      LaKita
      November 23, 2019 at 11:42 AM

      Thank you Katrina! You won’t regret it!

  • Reply
    Calysta
    November 23, 2019 at 2:27 AM

    5 stars
    What a beautifully photographed recipe with awesome techniques! Thank you!

    • Reply
      LaKita
      November 23, 2019 at 11:42 AM

      Thank you so much Calysta!!

  • Reply
    SHANIKA
    November 26, 2019 at 9:35 AM

    5 stars
    Wow! This Turkey looks so well done and gorgeous! I’ve also learned about cutting out the back of the Turkey to ensure that it cooks well! This recipe is a must try!

    • Reply
      LaKita
      November 29, 2019 at 2:12 PM

      Thank you so much!!

  • Reply
    Aline
    December 2, 2019 at 4:25 PM

    5 stars
    Girl, this looks bomb!! I always mess the turkey lol but spatchcocking it makes it so much easier and faster! Love the tips!!

    • Reply
      LaKita
      December 2, 2019 at 6:26 PM

      Thank you!! It is so much easier!

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