You’ve perfectly roasted your turkey and a daunting task lies ahead: carving it. The last thing you want to do is end up poorly carving your turkey and having it resemble dog food. Hardly appetizing!
I wanted to provide a basic step-by-step tutorial you can use so you can present a beautiful platter of turkey to your dinner guests this Thanksgiving.
Step One. Allow your turkey to rest a good 20-30 minutes prior to carving. The first step is to resist the temptation to deal with that turkey right away. This will allow the juices to redistribute. Carve too soon, and they’ll all spill out, leaving you a disappointing dry result.
Step Two. Using a sharp knife, separate the legs from the turkey at the thigh joint. When you press down with your knife, look for the joint pictured above. You can use a clean towel or paper towel to then hold the carcass while you pull them apart.
Step Three. Using a knife (and then your hands, if need be), separate the thigh from the drumstick. You’ll find that there’s a joint there that just needs to be separated. Plate the drumstick whole, reserve the thigh for carving.
Step Four. Locate and remove the wishbone. You’ll find this up at the top of the turkey, right below the neck cavity. Using your fingers, pry it out. The purpose of this step is to make it easier to carve the breast off the carcass. Make a wish!
Step Six. Using a sharp knife, slice the breast off the turkey. Find the breast bone and slice your way down as close to the rib cage as possible. As you might have guessed, repeat the process for the other breast.
Step Eight. Slice the Thigh Meat off the Bone. There is no particular method to this part, just cut it off the bone into smallish pieces.
Step Nine. Slice the turkey breast against the grain. If you’re not sure what that means, just slice it the short way. Try to cut in even slices to feed your entire crowd.
Step Ten. Plate your turkey and serve. To create the platter above, I alternated drumsticks and wings for the border. Next, I placed the dark meat in the bottom center of the platter. Then I topped with a sliced turkey breast and garnished with a sprig of fresh rosemary from my garden. I reserved the other breast and additional dark meat on the carving board. If you have a large party, you could split the meat onto two platters.
This Thanksgiving, I hope you won’t be intimidated to roast or carve your turkey! Good luck and enjoy!
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