How to Roast an Entire Holiday Turkey in an Hour

Deconstructed Turkey … It’s A Thing!

Looking to do your holiday dinner a little differently this year? Trying to figure out a way to have the traditional turkey dinner, but without all the mess and pressure of carving the perfect bird in front of all your guests? Deerhurst Resort’s Executive Chef David Bakker suggests making the mess before hand by deconstructing your turkey – plus cooking time gets cut by a third! Do this once, and you’ll be wondering why you haven’t done this every year…

Deconstructed Turkey

What You Need:

  • Whole turkey
  • Dijon mustard
  • Sage
  • Ground coriander seed
  • Green apple
  • Onion
  • Black peppercorns
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Thaw turkey in fridge. Allow for about 24 hours for each 4 to 5 pounds of turkey.
  2. Remove turkey from packaging. Discard plastic ties holding the legs together, as well as all of the giblets, innards and neck that are in the inside cavity of the bird. Make sure to check both ends.
  3. Start by removing the breasts. Note: To make it easier you may want to remove the wings right away by finding the ball and socket joint that connects it to the carcass, and slicing through that joint.
  4. Once you have removed the wings, pull the skin tight and make an incision through the skin following the backbone that separates the two breasts. You will begin basically scraping your knife along the backbone straight down – this will separate the meat from the bone. Use the bone of the carcass as your guide. Work your way down until the whole breast has been removed. Repeat for the second breast.
  5. When the breasts have been removed you can tie them using butchers twine to hold their shape.
  6. It’s now time to remove the legs. Make a cut on either side of the main carcass separating the legs from the carcass. At this point you are really just cutting the skin and will be able to see right down to the main thigh/body joint. Flip the bird over to place the carcass downwards, place your thumb on the joint and pop or dislocate the joint, repeat for both legs. Once the ball and socket have been popped, use your knife to follow the contour of the leg making sure to get the oyster that is located adjacent to the spine about halfway towards the tail end. Let the knife follow the carcass and do the work while you pull the leg away. You should be holding it by the end of the drum.
  7. Once the legs are removed from the carcass, the leg bones should be taken out. Follow the bone of the leg – opening the leg up – and just work your way around the leg. You are trying to remove the bone while leaving the skin intact (once you start working your way around it will be pretty easy). When you have the bone removed the real work starts. Use either a pair of pliers or a small pairing knife to remove all the tendons from the drumstick end of the leg. These will feel like little hard bones. The only way to remove them is to grab a hold of them and pull on them, or cut them out. When they have been removed brush the inside of the leg with Dijon mustard, and season with sage, kosher salt, black pepper, and ground coriander seed.
  8. Roll and tie the leg using butchers twine (same as you did for the breasts) with the seasoning on the inside and the skin on the outside.
  9. Marinate both the breasts and the legs with green apple, onion, and black peppercorns.
  10. After about 8 hours remove and discard the marinade, season with kosher salt, pepper and any other seasonings you prefer.
  11. Pan sear the breasts and the legs to crisp the skin and cook in the oven at 350 F for about an hour (or until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 165 F).
  12. Remove from oven. Rest the meat sufficiently to let the juices settle.

Serve and enjoy!

Looking for the ultimate holiday getaway? There’s no place like Deerhurst Resort for your family’s holiday break! With tons of activities for the whole family including our giant indoor playzone, outdoor adventures, kids programming and Splash’N Boots, you’re guaranteed fun regardless of the weather. Start planning your BEST. HOLIDAY BREAK. EVER. Learn more here.

Posted December 9, 2015 by Ainsley Theis.