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I have a whole turkey that has been cut in half; how do I cook just one half of a turkey?

I have a whole turkey that has been cut in half;  how do I cook just one half of a turkey?

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You can roast the half turkey the way you would a full turkey. Place the turkey cut side down on a bed of chopped vegetables. Onions, celery,  peppers would be good. Be sure the turkey is done by taking the temperature of the meat.  Start taking temperature readings with a meat thermometer, inserted deep into the thickest part of the turkey breast and thigh, a half hour before the turkey should be done. The dark meat in the thigh should be about 175°F. The white meat in the breast should be 160°F to 165°F. If you don't have a meat thermometer, spear the breast with a knife. The turkey juices should be clear, not pink.

Once you remove the turkey from the oven, let it rest for 15-20 minutes. 

You can also make soup out of it. Follow any directions for chicken soup. It may be easier if you make the soup after cutting the turkey into pieces.

If you want you can cut it into pieces and make something like turkey Mole or any stewed fowl recipe.


If you don't want to chop vegetables you can use cleaned  whole carrots and cleaned stalks of celery under the bird. I always use a turkey baking bag. Put the carrots and celery in the bottom, so they will be under the turkey, after cleaning the turkey and drying it of excess moisture, lightly salt both sides ( if you normally do) place the turkey on the vegetables. Close the bag and poke 6-8 holes in the top side of the bag and roast in short sided pan according to directions , until it has come upto fully cooked temperature. I also make my dressing and put in the bag and put my turkey on the dressing, rather than the vegetables, and roast it . I fined that the turkey is always moist and tender if cooked in a baking bag. If you want extra crispy skin you can cut the top of the bag and open top for the last 15-20 minute of roasting. You can use a meat thermometer right through the bag to check doneness or cook until the leg and thigh  move easily from the body of the bird. Always let it rest 15-20 minutes, tenting it after the top of the bag has been cut open.

Hope this helps you.


Place the turkey, cut side down, on a rack or veggies in a roasting pan. Roast as you would a whole turkey. Timing is going to be a guess but I'd suggest starting to check doneness after about 2/3 of the time you would roast a whole turkey of the same size. Check the temperature in the thickest part of the thigh (it should be 180 degrees) or in the breast (170 degrees). Use a meat thermometer left in the bird or check with an instant-read thermometer. The automatic pop-up thermometer that is put in many birds may not be accurate.

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