How to Carve a Turkey- The Traditional Method
Whether you’ve roasted a Thanksgiving turkey or deep-fried one in the backyard, follow these steps to easily retrieve the moist and tender meat.
Use a sharp carving knife for best results when carving a whole turkey. While carving, keep the turkey from moving by holding it in place with a meat fork. Carve on a stable cutting surface, such as a plastic cutting board or platter. Carving is easier if the turkey is allowed to stand for about 15 minutes after roasting.
Place the turkey breast up with its legs to the right if you're right-handed or to the left if left-handed. Remove the ties or skewers.
While gently pulling leg and thigh away from body, cut through the joint between leg and body. Separate the drumstick and thigh by cutting down through the connecting joint. Serve the drumstick and thighs whole, or carve them.
Make a deep horizontal cut into the breast just above the wing. Insert a fork in the top of the breast.
Starting halfway up the breast, carve thin slices down to the horizontal cut, working from outer edge of bird to the center.
Repeat steps 1 through 3 on the other side of the turkey.
1. TO REMOVE LEG (thigh or second joint and drumstick). Hold the drumstick firmly with fingers, pulling gently away from turkey body. At the same time cut through skin between leg and body. Continue as follows:
2. PRESS LEG AWAY FROM BODY WITH FLAT SIDE OF KNIFE. Then cut through joint joining leg to backbone and skin on the back. If the "oyster", a choice oyster-shaped piece lying in the spoon-shaped section of the backbone was not removed with the thigh, remove it at this point. Hold leg on service plate with drumstick at a convenient angle to plate. Separate drumstick and thigh by cutting down through the joint to the plate.
3. SLICE DRUMSTICK MEAT. Hold drumstick upright at a convenient angle to plate and cut down, turning drumstick to get uniform slices. Chicken drumsticks and thighs are usually served without slicing
4. SLICE THIGH MEAT. Hold thigh firmly on plate with a fork. Cut slices of meat parallel to the bone.
5. CUT INTO WHITE MEAT PARALLEL TO WING. Make a cut deep into the breast to the body frame parallel to and as close to the wing as possible.
6. SLICE WHITE MEAT. Beginning at front, starting halfway up the breast, cut thin slices of white meat down to the cut made parallel to the wing. The slices will fall away from the turkey as they are cut to this line. Continue carving until enough meat has been carved for first servings. Additional turkey may be carved as needed.