December 7th 2011

How to carve a turkey

Turkey time is in the air, with Thanksgiving just behind us and Christmas around the corner. But if you’re hosting a holiday dinner at your house, you have an important job that you just can’t neglect.

It’s your turn to carve the turkey.

The question is: do you know how?

If you haven’t given much thought to your dinner spread, or want an alternative to roasting to the turkey, check out how to deep fry the turkey, instead. If you do want to roast it, you might want to make an Herb and Citrus Turkey, or a basic Classic Turkey.

After It’s Cooked

After it is cooked, take the turkey from the roasting pan or deep fryer and transfer it to a cutting board. Let it rest for at least 20 minutes before digging into it. Take the time to finish up any side dishes and bring everything to the table. By letting it rest, you’ll let the juices redistribute their way throughout the meat.

Kitchen or Table?

It’s really up to you, but wherever you choose to carve your turkey, make sure that you use the proper tools. Regardless, I wouldn’t put it on the platter. Keep it on a cutting board, use a sharp knife, and a two pronged fork. The cutting board should have a rim to catch any juice, too.

The First Cut

Start by cutting the turkey through the skin that is between the leg and the breast. Take a deep breath, then continue cutting between the leg and the breast, forcing the leg away with the two-pronged fork. Cut through the joint to completely separate the leg from the turkey. If you need to use your hands, that’s fine – just make sure you let your company know they’re washed.

Do it Again

Repeat the first cut’s instructions on the other side.

Separate Some More

Once the leg is removed from the turkey, cut through the joint between the drumstick and the thigh. If needed, turn the leg over to be able to see the joint more clearly.

Slice These Up

To slice each of the drumsticks, carve a slice, then rotate the drum stick to carve other slices. Use the meaty sides. You can also just not carve these – some like to eat them whole. Slice the thigh meat , as well.

Work on the Breasts

For the breast meat, use the knife to cut through the joint to remove the wing from the breast. Cut the wing in half, again through the joint. Put it on the serving platter. Repeat with the breast on the other side. To slice the breasts, work cleanly parallel to the breastbone. Repeat on the other side. You can also remove the entire turkey breast in one piece, by sliding the knife along the breastbone, and keeping it as close to the bone as you can. Then, continue and slice once it’s removed. Continue until all of the breast meat is on the serving platter and off the carcass.

Rid the Wing

Carefully cut through the joint to remove the wing from the breast.

Finish with a Smile

Arrange the pieces of carved turkey on the serving platter. Garnish with citrus wedges, fresh herbs, and serving utensils. Smile.

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Andrew loves art and design, and pursues his studies in his final year at the Ontario College of Art and Design. He loves seeking out new artists and giving them their dues, and in his spare time, focuses on his own abstract sculpture.