Y’all, this Roasted Spatchcock Jerk Turkey is about to flip your holiday script! By spatchcocking this bird, we’re talking about cutting that cooking time in half compared to your traditional turkey. But that’s just the start. This turkey is slathered in a homemade jerk sauce that’s a fiery blend of brown sugar, warm spices, Scotch bonnet peppers, and a bright burst of citrus. It’s a flavor explosion in every bite.

Need Some Serving Suggestions?

Are you feeling a bit stumped on what to serve alongside this mouthwatering jerk turkey? I’ve got you covered! Here are some recipes that will give you exactly what you need for a memorable fall dinner spread.

  • Side: Instant Pot Collard Greens – This savory and smoky pot of greens has a blend of collard, mustard, and turnip greens and cooks down in more than half the time.
  • Dessert: Banana Pudding with Cream CheeseThis Homemade Banana PuddingSouthern classic turned baddie, layered with creamy scratch-made banana pudding, ripe bananas, cream cheese and those nostalgic Nilla wafers.
  • Drink: Hot Zaddy – Call it Apple Cider Hot Toddy if you’re formal, but this mix of whiskey, apple cider, honey, citrus and cinnamon is a cozy warm cocktail.
This is ebook is packed with a ton of traditional and creative holiday recipes, interactive videos, shoppable lists, and preparation guides, with everything you need to be a super host this holiday season.

Jerked Turkey

Hey peeps! Since we are in the midst of the holiday season, today I wanted to share one of my favorite recipes from the interactive Holiday E-cookbookI developed my hubby. We always happily bombarded with cooking questions around this time so we developed any easy recipe guide to master the holidays with deliciously bold recipes that we enjoy at our own family gatherings.

Every other year we update the book with new recipes and this Jerk Turkey happens to be one of my favorite additions. I wanted to add some Caribbean flavor to the classic holiday spread and this recipe allowed me to do just that while also teaching one of my favorite techniques for cutting time in half, spatchcocking.

Spatchcocking may seem a bit intimidating at first but I assure you it’s easier than you think. Especially when you use my Spatchcock Turkey Guide which spells out every step of the process so it’s easy as pie. Trust me love all you need is some gloves and sharp kitchen shears and you’ll be moving with Chef speed in no-time.

Key Ingredients

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make juicy jerk turkey.

  • Whole Turkey- You’ll need a 10-12 pound young turkey, be cautious of the ones that have over 20% of brine solution added. Manufactures add this sugar and salt mixture to ensure a moist tender turkey.
  • Dry Seasonings- You’ll need a blend of allspice berries, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, kosher salt, cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and black peppercorns.
  • Wet Seasonings- A blend of soy sauce, orange juice, oil, and balsamic vinegar.
  • Aromatics- Fresh thyme and scotch bonnet peppers are a must in any jerk seasoning or marinade. You’ll also need onion, ginger, bay leaves, scallions and garlic.
  • Sugar- A blend of brown sugar and granulated sugar helps add the right balance to the jerk marinade.

How To Make Jerk Turkey Recipe

Here’s the quick rundown, but more detailed instructions can be found below in the recipe card. 

Jerk Seasoning

In a small skillet over medium heat toast allspice, cloves, black peppercorns, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, for 2 minutes, until aromatic. Add to a spice grinder and pulse until fine.

In a food blender add all of the remaining jerk marinade ingredients and blend on high for 1 to 2 minutes, until smooth. Makes approximately 1 quart (4 cups).

Roast Turkey

Toast allspice, peppercorns, coriander, and cumin in a skillet until they’re singing with aroma, then blitz them in a spice grinder.

Now, the marinade magic. Blitz all the jerk marinade ingredients in a blender until smooth – you’ll get about 4 cups.

Smother your turkey with 2 cups of that jerk goodness. Get under the skin, over the skin, in the cavity – show no mercy. Wrap it up and let it chill in the fridge overnight.

Simmer the remaining marinade until it’s thick and saucy, about 10-15 minutes.

Crank your oven to 450°F. Nestle the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan (throw in some seasoned root veggies underneath if you’re feeling extra). Anoint it with half the reduced jerk sauce, then let the oven do its thing at 425°F for 30 minutes. Give it another baste with the sauce, then a final buttery baste 15 minutes later, or until it’s cooked just right (150°F in the breast, 165°F in the thigh – no bone-poking, please).

Let that beauty rest for 30-60 minutes. Carve it up and get ready for applause!

Storage & Reheating Recommendations

To Store

Place the pieces of turkey in an airtight container or in a storage bag, and they’re good in the fridge for 7 days. Want to save them for later? Pop them in a freezer storage bag and freeze for up two months. Thaw for 24 hours in the fridge before reheating.

To Reheat

After you take them out of the fridge, reheat in a 350°F for 15-20 minutes.

To Make Ahead

You can make the jerk marinade 2 weeks in advance and store in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for maximum freshness. Marinate the turkey 2 days before you’re ready to serve it.

Meiko’s Pro Recipe Tips

Keep this in mind while you hook up this roasted jerk turkey recipes.

  • When inserting the instant-read thermometer avoid touching the bone.
  • You can use turkey legs or wings if you want to keep it simple.
  • You can swap chicken stock, lemon juice or lime juice for the orange juice. The citrus helps tame the heat levels from the habanero peppers.
  • If you have silicone baking mats, use them instead of aluminum foil.
  • Use a low sodium soy sauce to control the sodium levels. Also use a tamari soy sauce for a gluten free jerk turkey.
  • Use fresh garlic and avoid using the chopped garlic in the jar, you will be sacrificing a ton of flavor.

Add Some Flair: Recipe Variations & Customization Ideas

  • Chicken or Cornish Hens? Swap the whole turkey for chicken, turkey breasts, or Cornish hens if you’re cooking for a smaller crowd.  
  • Can’t find scotch bonnet peppers? You can use scotch bonnet pepper sauce or habanero peppers if you cannot fresh ones.
  • Want to use a store brought jerk seasoning? Don’t fell like making your own jerk marinade, I recommend you try Walkerwood’s or Grace jerk seasoning.

More Fall Recipes You’ll Love

If you’re looking for more delicious fall entree show stoppers, try these out!

Frequently Asked Recipe Questions

What is Jerk Marinade?

That’s this bangin’ mix of spices and ingredients folks use to season up their meat in Jamaican cooking. You got a blend of allspice berries, scotch bonnet peppers, green onions, fresh thyme, cinnamon, nutmeg, garlic, and salt. Sometimes folks add soy sauce, browning or vinegar to get that extra tang and moisture.

You marinate your chicken, turkey, or fish, and it gives you this spicy, smoky, and a little bit sweet flavor. It’s all about that kick from the scotch bonnet peppers mixed with the earthy tones of the herbs and spices. Jerk marinade ain’t just about heat; it’s about balancing all them bold flavors to create something real special.

How To Spatchcock A Turkey?

Spatchcock your turkey by placing it chest-down on a cutting board. Using kitchen shears or a sharp knife, remove the backbone (you can preserve the excess bone to make a turkey broth). Flip the bird over, so it is lying chest up, and the cavity is flat to the surface. Use both hands to press down on the upper chest plate until you hear the bone fracture. It helps the turkey lay flat.

Spatchcock Turkey Cooking Time?

A good rule of thumb for cooking turkey is to allot approximately 6 minutes of cooking time per pound. This helps ensure that the turkey is cooked thoroughly and evenly, resulting in a juicy and flavorful bites. Remember, though, that various factors like oven temperature, and the turkey’s size, so it’s always good to use a meat thermometer to check for doneness.

Prep Your Tools & Ingredients

Here is a quick list of things to do before the recipe to ensure everything goes smoothly. This list may contain affiliate links that won’t change your price but will share some commission to help support this blog.

Gather Your Tools:

  • Kitchen Shears
  • Spice Grinder
  • Food Blender or Food processor
  • Baking Rack in Sheet Pan
  • Instant-Read Thermometer

Recipe Prep

  • Always read the recipe through at least 1 time before you start. It helps you move faster when you already know what step is coming next. 
  • Measure out all of your ingredients.
  • Clear enough space in your fridge to place the turkey to thaw out.

Now It’s Your Turn!

Alright, fam, this Roasted Spatchcock Jerk Turkey is your ticket to a flavor-packed holiday! Quick to cook and loaded with those kickin’ Caribbean spices, it’s a game-changer. Loved the recipe? Show some love with a rating and comment below – it’s like a virtual hug for me! And if you’re getting down in the kitchen with this dish, tag @meikoandthedish – I’m here for all your stunning creations. Craving more unique holiday recipes? Grab your copy of the ‘KC & Koko Holiday Ebook‘ and elevate your feast game and make this season unforgettably delicious!

Roasted Spatchcock Jerk Turkey

Author: Meiko Temple
Roasted Spatchcock Jerk Turkey recipe: half the cooking time, slathered in a fiery, sweet-spicy jerk sauce with a citrus burst. A flavor explosion!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Temper/Cooling Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course, Marinade, Spices
Cuisine Afro-Caribbean, Holiday
Servings 12 servings
Calories 507 kcal

Ingredients
 

Jerk Sauce/Marinade

  • 4 teaspoons allspice berries
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup raw cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup scallions, chopped
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 dried bay leaves
  • 4 scotch bonnet or habanero peppers, stems removed and seeded
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2- inch piece ginger
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Turkey

  • 1 turkey, 10 to 12 lbs
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Instructions
 

Spatchcock The Turkey

  • Wash and remove turkey innards. Spatchcock your turkey by placing it chest-down. Using kitchen shears or a sharp knife, remove the backbone . Flip the bird over, so it is lying chest up, and the cavity is flat to the surface. Use both hands to press down on the upper chest plate until you hear the bone fracture so that it lays flat (see notes for Spatchcock guide).
  • Pat turkey dry. Poke turkey all over with a fork on the front and back. Transfer the turkey to a large baking sheet.

Make Jerk Spice Blend

  • In a small skillet over medium heat toast allspice berries, black peppercorns, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, for 2 minutes, until aromatic. Add to a spice grinder and pulse until fine.

Make Jerk Marinade

  • In a food blender add all of the remaining jerk marinade ingredients and blend on high for 1 to 2 minutes, until smooth. Makes approximately 1 quart (4 cups).
  • Use 2 cups of jerk sauce to marinade the turkey. With the backside up, pour and massage ¼ of the jerk marinade into the back cavity.
  • Turn the turkey breast-side up. Use your hand to separate skin over the breast and thigh area from the meat. Use your hand or spoon to add marinade under the skin and spread it all over. Wrap the entire sheet pan in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator overnight (at least 4 hours).

Make The Jerk Sauce

  • To a medium saucepan, add remaining 2 cups of jerk marinade over medium-low heat to thicken for 10-15 minutes until reduced at least by ¼. Remove from heat and set aside.

Temper The Turkey

  • Remove the turkey from the refrigerator, and sit at room temperature, takes approximately 1.5-2 hours

Roast The Jerk Turkey

  • Preheat the oven 450°F degrees. Transfer the turkey to a rack set inside a sheet pan or roasting pan. Tuck the wings behind the turkey. [OPTIONAL ]add seasoned root vegetables below the rack if you want.
  • Spoon half of the reduced jerk sauce evenly over the top of the turkey. Transfer the turkey to the oven, reduce heat to 425°F degrees, cook for 30 minutes. Baste turkey with remaining jerk sauce and cook for 15 more minutes.
  • Baste all over with the melted butter and cook for 15 minutes or until the breast reaches 150°F and the thigh reaches 165°F. When inserting the instant-read thermometer avoid touching the bone.
  • Remove from the oven and let the turkey rest from 30 to 60 minutes before carving.

Video

Notes

Link To KC & Koko Holiday Ebook
Spatchcock Turkey Guide – Step by step spatchcocking instructions
When removing the turkey’s tail bone, you can preserve it  to make a turkey broth later.
Marinate turkey for at least 4 hours to overnight to maximize flavor.
Jerk Paste can be store-bought or homemade. For store-bought brands I reommend Walkerswood Jerk Seasoning.

Nutrition

Calories: 507kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 49gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 9gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 162mgSodium: 2223mgPotassium: 684mgFiber: 2gSugar: 17gVitamin A: 407IUVitamin C: 20mgCalcium: 78mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Jerk Marinade, Jerk Turkey, jerk turkey recipe, jerked turkey, Roast Spatchcock turkey
did you make this recipe???Tell me all about it! And tag @meikoandthedish with hashtag on Instagram – I’d love to see what you make!

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