Mastering a Thanksgiving turkey is one thing – carving it is something else entirely.
We’ve all visited a fancy restaurant and been served a plate of beautifully sliced turkey, and some would say it’s too hard to replicate ourselves.
If you’re the sort of person who usually serves up mismatched chunks of turkey because you don’t think much of your carving skills, this guide is for you!
We’ll be sharing how to carve a turkey like a pro – and it’s much easier than you’d think.
Let’s get into it!
First, gather your ingredients.
You’ll need a pair of scissors, a selection of sharp knives (including a chef’s knife, a carving knife and a boning knife), and, of course, your turkey.
Make sure the turkey has sat for at least 30 minutes before you get carving. It’s also a good idea to place it on a chopping board that has a well to catch any juices.
First, remove the trussing strings, then use a boning knife to remove the legs and thighs.
You now need to remove the wishbone, or the neck cavity of the chicken. Cut through the skin and pull it off to reveal the wishbone. Removing the wishbone will eventually make it easier to remove the breastbone.
The wishbone runs along the neck cavity. Glide your knife along this bone, then reach in, grab it, and pull it out.
Next, it’s time to remove the breast meat.
Follow the breastbone of the turkey from the front to the back. If the meat is too hot, place a paper towel on the turkey to act as a barrier.
Once you cut down to the ribcage, start turning your knife and follow down the curve of the breastbone. A really sharp knife will make your job easier here.
The meat should come off in one nice piece. Once you get to the joint of the wing, you can cut there, between the breast meat and the first wing joint.
Put the breast off to the side while you remove the other one.
To remove the wings, simply cut between the first wing joint and the carcass.
Now it’s time to platter up the turkey – the best part of the process! Take one of the breasts, and, using a very sharp carving knife, begin slicing at an angle.
The thickness of your slices is totally up to you and your own personal preferences – and how many guests you’ll be serving this Thanksgiving.
Transfer the breast onto your platter and spread it out slightly – not too much, though, or it might fry out.
Reheat the process with the remaining breast, then get started with the drumstick. Cut between the drumstick and the thigh, then cut through the joint. Place the drumstick on the edge of your platter.
Next, remove the thighbone from the thigh. Save the bone for turkey stock, then cut the dark meat to create some nice slices for your platter.
Now the platter is finished, all that’s left to do is embellish with your favorite Thanksgiving herbs.
Tuck sage and rosemary in any nooks and crannies, and they’ll add a little extra depth to your dish.
And that’s all there is to it! Carving a turkey might be a high-pressure job, but it gets easier with practice. If you need more guidance before giving it a go, take a look at the handy video tutorial below.
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