Content of the material
- Essential Tools for Carving a Turkey
- Simple Tip!
- Profile Menu
- Separate the drumsticks
- How To Carve a Turkey: The ‘What Not To Do’ Method
- Separate the Drumsticks From the Thighs
- 7. Frequently Asked Questions
- Use a Sharp Chefs Knife
- 3. A Step-By-Step Guide to Carving a Turkey
- Where Is the Wishbone on a Turkey?
Essential Tools for Carving a Turkey
A successful carve depends on two key items: the carving board and the carving knife. Thankfully, the lengthy time it takes to roast a turkey provides plenty of time to prepare.
First, the cutting board. Be sure the turkey fits on the board. I like a really large board; not only does it need to fit the turkey carcass itself, but all of the different pieces carved from it. The cutting board, like a lifeboat, fills up fast.The Best Cutting Boards That Make Slicing and Dicing Fun
Depending on the type of cutting board you use and the countertop surface it’s placed on, the cutting board might suffer from every carver’s worst nightmare: movement. Nothing spells disaster more than slicing into a thick turkey breast only to have the cutting board scoot down the counter like it’s trying to make a run for it.
If your cutting board slips around, take a few sheets of paper towels, wet them under the kitchen faucet, and place them under the cutting board. The thin pieces of paper towel will provide enough friction to keep the board from moving.
Important as the cutting board is, the true workhorse is the carving knife. When selecting a knife consider these two points:
- The knife is sharp.
- The knife is at least 10 inches long.
A long, sharp knife means easy slicing and less work. A sharp knife effortlessly slices through crisp skin keeping it intact, while a long knife eliminates repeated sawing action, which makes the carving not only easy, but creates visually appealing slices.
The key is to let the knife do the work, which is easily accomplished with continuous downward pressure using the entire length of the knife. Starting at the heel, push down and pull the knife towards you not stopping until the tip works its way through the meat.
And in case you're wondering, I believe a serrated bread knife would work, although I have never officially tried it. I know it works on a tomato to avoid tearing skin and I think it would probably work well here, too!
Even if your knife runs a little short, no matter what, plan ahead and sharpen it. It’s important your Thanksgiving platter not only tastes good but look good too.
There is another knife to consider for the Thanksgiving turkey. It’s the one that plugs in, the electric knife. It might appear as though you are taking a chainsaw to a rose bush, but it gives my 82-year-old dad the confidence and strength to slice his Thanksgiving Turkey. There is no harm in that.
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Separate the drumsticks
To separate the drumsticks from the thighs, identify the joint that connects them. Cut through the skin heading to the joint, making a shallow cut into the meat. You can rotate the joint to pop it out from the bone, then cut through the attached cartilage and skin.
The goal is not to slice through bone. Serve the drumsticks and thigh meat as is, or you can slice them off the bone into pieces making it easier to share the dark meat.
How To Carve a Turkey: The ‘What Not To Do’ Method
If you really want to know what not to do when it comes to carving your turkey, here’s a great guide from Chow’s popular video series You’re Doing It All Wrong.
Chef Mark Dommen from One Market Restaurant in San Francisco shares his tips for how to get it right to ensure a beautiful presentation:
Separate the Drumsticks From the Thighs
To separate the drumsticks from the thighs, turn the leg pieces over on your cutting board so that the skin side is down and you're looking directly at the meaty part of the joint. Now run your knife along the natural seam that separates the two joints, and they'll come right apart. Transfer the drumstick to your serving platter. Repeat with the other leg.
7. Frequently Asked Questions
How do you carve a turkey for beginners?
The turkey carving steps remain the same for both, pros and beginners.First off, don’t forget to let the bird rest for at least 30 minutes, so it can reabsorb all its juices. After that, set up your carving station and make sure you have all the tools you need around you. Then you get carving.
Start with removing the legs and thighs, then the breast, followed by the wings. Once that’s done separate the drumstick from the thighs and slice up the meat. Transfer everything to a serving platter and top it off with some fresh fruits and herbs. How long should the turkey sit before carving?
You should let the turkey sit out for at least 30-40 minutes before carving it. This allows the turkey to reabsorb all their juices and ensures that every slice of the turkey is juicy and succulent.
How do you carve a turkey Gordon Ramsay?
Whether you’re Gordon Ramsay or a beginner, follow the basic turkey carving steps and you cannot go wrong with it. Let the bird rest for at 30 minutes after it’s out of the oven and set up your carving station to make sure you have all the tools you need around you.
After that you start by removing the legs and thighs, then the breast, followed by the wings of the turkey. Once that’s done separate the drumstick from the thighs and slice up the meat.
Transfer everything to a serving platter and top it off with some fresh fruits and herbs.
Use a Sharp Chefs Knife
Some folks suggest using a carving knife, a boning knife, and a chef’s knife. Those specialty blades are thinner, longer, and more flexible. But if you’ve cooked your turkey properly, the joints are going to come apart pretty easily, so your chef’s knife should be more than adequate to do the job.
Make sure that whatever knife you use is sharp. When carving a turkey, you want to be able to slice through the skin without shredding it. The goal is to ensure that each slice of meat has its own skin still attached, and this requires a sharp knife.
3. A Step-By-Step Guide to Carving a Turkey14” Slicing & Carving Knife | Shogun Series | Dalstrong ©
After the turkey has cooled down and absorbed all its juices, now comes the fun part – we get carving!
Don’t let the size of the turkey, the culinary tools or the sheer intimidation of the process overwhelm you. Follow these easy-peasy steps and crave that turkey like a pro!
Step 1: Set Up the carving station
Place your freshly cooked, golden turkey on a large cutting board. Make sure to place the board evenly on the counter to ensure complete stability. Once this is set up, bring in the other stuff you are going to need, like a sharp chef’s knife, a serving platter, some paper towels, and a pair of tongs.
If you’ve tied the legs of the turkey with a string, remove it using the tip of the knife and place the turkey in a way that its legs are facing you.
Step 2: Let the bird rest before carving
By now you’ve already understood the importance of this step, but I’m going to say it once again- LET THE BIRD REST! I cannot begin to emphasize the importance of this step.
Thick and juicy slices of turkey meat are only possible when all the juices are reabsorbed and the meat has cooled down a bit, making it easy to handle.
Step 3: Remove the legs and thighs
Start with slicing through the skin that connects the breast and leg. Cut through the joint along the body, aligning the knife towards the bone as you slice. Once the knife hits the bone, use your hands to pull the leg back and down until the joint becomes visible.
Press down firmly on the joint and sever it completely. Run the knife through the joint and through the rest of the thigh meat to separate the leg from the backbone.
Repeat these steps with the second leg and thigh as well.
Step 4: Remove the turkey breast
After this, stay on the same side of the turkey and make a long, deep cut along one side of the breastbone. Follow the curve of the bone, carving long strokes with the tip of your knife, and pull away from the breast meat gently as you go. Repeat this along the second side of the turkey breast.
I suggest wiping down the cutting board before your get started with the second side to get rid of the extra juice from the meat and reduce the mess.
If you plan on making a decadent roasted turkey broth, remove the turkey carcass from the board and transfer it into a pot.
Step 5: Remove the wings
Next, we remove the wings. To do this, pull the wings back until you hear a pop or see the joint (like you did with the legs). Once you’ve done this, run your knife through the joints, separate the wings and place it on a serving platter.
Step 6: Separate the drumstick from the thigh
To do this, place the leg pieces, skin-side up, on the cutting board. Run your chef’s knife right between the drumstick and thigh at the joint. Repeat this with the other leg now.
Once the drumsticks are separated, return them to the platter.
Step 7: Slice up the meat
It’s time to take the larger chunks of meat and slice them up real nice and set it up to be plated.
White meat: First, on a cutting board, place the breasts skin-side up. Then cut the breast meat into ½ inch, thick slices for serving. Use long cutting stokes instead of short sawing ones to get neatly cut slices. Cut the wing in half as well and transfer all the white meat into the serving platter.
Dark meat: Wiggle the knife in the joint until you find a sweet spot to separate the thigh from the drumstick. Remove the bone from the thigh and place the boneless meat skin-side-up to slice. Once sliced up good, transfer it to the platter.
Step 8: Serve right away
Carving a turkey is going to cool it down significantly. So once you’re done slicing everything, quickly garnish it with some fresh fruits like small pears or a bunch of grapes and herbs.
If you still feel that the turkey has cooled down, warm up the turkey with plenty of hot gravy or pop it back in the warm oven for a few minutes.
…..and voila You have the juiciest and most succulent turkey slices sitting on your table, ready to be enjoyed by everyone.
Where Is the Wishbone on a Turkey?
You can find the wishbone at the front end of the breast. Use your fingers to pull it out. Why? Removing the wishbone makes it easier to carve off the breast meat.