How to Carve a Turkey

by on September 6th, 2010
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Since carving a turkey only happens once maybe twice a year some people may not know how to cut it properly which can result in a still tasty but badly butchered bird. No need to worry follow my simple instructions below and you will have a beautifully carved bird this holiday season. If you don’t know how to cook a turkey or need some reminders on how to do it properly you can read my article: How to Cook a Turkey.

What You Will Need

First you will need a large carving knife, a very sharp knife and possibly a clean hand towel if you are having trouble getting the turkey to hold still while you slice. You will also need a nice platter and a large cutting board. Truth be told we slice it right on the platter at my house, but however you do it you need a cutting surface large enough to hold the turkey. If you don’t have a platter or a large cutting board cover a large cookie sheet with foil and use that to cut and serve your turkey on. Or use two cookie sheets one to cut on and one to serve on. Not the fanciest way to serve but it will do the job.

Cutting the Turkey

Step 1: Let your turkey rest for at least 15 to 30 minutes before carving

Step 2: Face the legs towards you and separate the skin from the thigh to separate the leg from the body. Using a long fork pull the leg downward from the bird. Cut along the joint and the body to separate. After you cut through the joint use the fork to steady the turkey as you continue cutting through the meat.

Step 3: Next remove the wing. Slice a small oval of skin down across the wing, pull the meat out slightly so you can find the joint. Once you find the joint cut right through. Cut the wing in half if you like.

Step 4: Then go to the breast. Angle the knife towards the breast bone and make a long deep cut along one side of the beast bone. You should feel the bone and the curve of the bone, you should feel the bone and the rib cage as you cut. Gently pull meat away as you cut. Remove the meat on both sides of the breast and pull the breasts off whole. Then slice the breast up in to nice slices.

Step 5: Separate the thigh from the leg by cutting along the joint. You may need to wiggle your knife around a bit in order to find the easiest place in the joint to cut through. Remove the bone from the thigh and then place it skin side up and slice into pieces.

Remember to use your fork at all times to both hold the turkey stead and to pull the meat away as you are cutting.

Once the turkey is sliced it is best to serve it right away.

You can save the carcass to make soup or turkey stock with.


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