4 Simple Steps to Carving Your Turkey this Holiday

This turkey day, why not dazzle your family and friends with a perfectly carved turkey. It’s super easy if you follow these few simple steps.  Not only will your bird and table look more appetizing, it will make serving even easier.

Here’s all you’ll need:

  • Large Wooden Carving Board – The board should be able to hold the entire turkey. An average 16lb turkey can measure 16-17 inches in length. A good size to cover the average turkey is a board that is 20 to 21 inches long, 14 to 16 inches wide. If you’re not sure, error on the side of bigger. Your board should also have deep juice trenches to collect the juices and pyramids on the surface to hold the turkey in place. This is especially important if you are serving from the board.
  • Slicing Knife/Carving Knife: The blade should be sharp and no smaller than 10 inches. Avoid blades with serrated edges as this will tear the meat.
  • Kitchen Scissors: These should also be sharp. If you don’t have kitchen scissors you can use the knife but having one will make it easier to cut through joints and tough skin.
  • Carving Fork: This will make arranging and serving the meat very easy. Plus, it will give you more leverage when carving and slicing so each piece is the perfect width.

Step One:

First remove the legs from the body of the bird. You do this by pulling the leg and slicing the skin between the breast and drumstick with your carving knife. Next, bend the leg back until it neatly pulls out. Use your kitchen scissors (or knife) to cut through the joints and the rest of skin to completely detach the leg. Repeat on the other side.

Step Two:

Now for the breast meat. While many people prefer dark meat, the white meat is truly the star of the thanksgiving feast. So if you want your present your guests with beautifully cut slices of thick juicy breast meat that will make their mouths water, you’ll want to give yourself a generous piece of the breast for easy slicing. Keep the blade of the knife flush to the rib cage while you cut, using it as a guide, and cut along the cage until the entire breast is off. Repeat on the other side. Done right, you should have two large pieces of breast meat to slice as you please. 

Step Three:

Now separate the thigh from the drumstick by cutting the joint between the two using your scissors or blade. Once separated, cut the meat off the bone and slice if you don’t want to have any bones on your plate/board.

Step Four:

Finally, take your turkey breasts and slice them cross wise with the skin side up. How thick or thin is up to you. Use your carving fork to ensure each slice is well proportioned and neatly cut. Once the meat is sliced, use your carving fork to arrange it neatly on the platter or board. We recommend separating the dark meat and wings from the white breast meat to make it easier for your guests to get the kind they prefer. Plus, it will also make for a better presentation.

And that’s it. Just a few simple steps and you’ll have a beautifully carved turkey everyone will be excited to eat. If you added stuffing, don’t forget to scoop it out of the cavity when you’re done. And if you’re planning on making gravies or soup later, be sure to store the leftover bones and juices.

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