Carving a turkey is sometimes a little more stressful than cooking it, because you don’t want any of the meat to go to waste — but you also want to make sure the final product looks appetizing. Luckily, with just a few simple steps, your turkey can look as good as if it had been carved by a professional chef.
Don’t stress! Here are 5 easy steps to carve a turkey
Step 1: Prepare the turkey for carving
Once the turkey is out of the oven or deep fryer, let it sit for 30 minutes. This allows the turkey to cool while soaking in all the juices, which makes it both moist and easier to carve (and frees up your oven for reheating all those pre-made side dishes!). Then transfer the turkey to a carving board, breast side up, and cut off all the strings that were holding it together. Slice the neck of the turkey open and remove the stuffing. You’re now ready to carve!
Using a knife, gently cut down both of the sides of the turkey to remove the legs. You will have to “pop” the legs out from their joints by applying pressure and then cut through the remainder of the joint with the knife. Once removed, place the leg vertically on your cutting board and slice the meat until all of it is removed from the bone. Repeat the process with the other leg.
Tip: If the turkey is too hot to handle, use paper towels or clean kitchen towels to protect your hands.
Step 3: Slice the thigh meat
Once the drumsticks have been removed and sliced, it’s time to slice the thigh meat. Free the meat from the bone, and place the thigh skin-side-up on the carving board. Cut into slices and place on serving platter.
Remove the wings from the turkey with both a knife and a tight grip. Gently pull the wing away from the turkey while slicing the skin with your knife. Since the wings are small, you do not need to slice them down any further, but rather just place neatly on the serving platter.
Step 5: Carve the breast
Hold the turkey down steady with a carving fork in the hand opposite the hand that’s holding the knife. While holding the turkey down, make a long cut down the center of the breast. Cut down the side of each ribcage and remove the breast from the bone. Once each breast is detached from the ribs, lay on the carving board skin-side-up and slice into individual servings. Arrange the carved meat on the serving platter and you’re done!