Go Back
+ servings

Halfcocked Roast Turkey

An unconventional approach for perfectly cooked light and dark meat.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword turkey
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Servings 8


  • 1 pastured turkey 14-18 lbs
  • salt


  • Heat oven to 275°
    Using a sharp knife, remove legs from the turkey. Cut down between the body and the leg while pulling gently on the drumstick, until you locate the ball joint. Cut it free, bringing as much thigh meat as possible with it. Then, using the same method, cut free the wings.
  • Lightly salt the pieces of turkey, then arrange on a baking rack over a sheet pan. To keep the breast upright you may need to use two balls of aluminum foil. Depending on the size of the turkey and the size of your pan, you may be using multiple dishes.
  • Roast the turkey, taking the temperature regularly. Remove the breast when it has reached 157° in the thickest part, and remove the legs when they have reached 180°.
  • Tent with foil and let rest at least 20 minutes before carving. To carve, first remove each breast from the bone, then slice crosswise. Debone the thighs and do the same. Keep drumsticks and wings intact for exceptionally hungry guests.
  • Arrange cut meat on an ovenproof tray or platter. It's likely the meat will not be piping host by the time everything else is ready, so put it in the oven on a low temperature - perhaps 200° - for at least 20 minutes immediately before serving.


•Feel free to separate the drumstick from the thigh, since they will sometimes cook at slightly different rates. I don't bother, because somewhat overcooking the dark meat isn't a big deal.