How to Carve a Thanksgiving Turkey
Now that you've successfully brined and smoked your turkey, it's time to carve and serve! Carving your turkey can seem daunting, but don't fret, we're giving you some tips on how to properly and safely carve your turkey.
What you'll need:
- Carving or cutting board.
- A towel to place underneath the board so it doesn't move.
- Your cooked turkey.
- A knife, can be a chef's knife or just a sharp knife, the choice is yours here.
- Paper towels, to wipe your hands from the juices and for extra grip on the turkey.
- A platter to place the carved pieces.
- Tongs to grab carved pieces.
Carving the turkey:
After you've let the turkey rest for about 30 minutes, place the turkey on the carving or cutting board with the cavity facing you. This position will help you carve the turkey easier because you won't have to move the bird around as much.
If you tied the bird's legs together with string, remove the string first. Then, cut the skin that connects the breast and drumsticks. Slice down all the way until you hit the joint that connects the two. Grab your paper towel and separate the leg and thigh from the turkey. Use your knife to cut through the joint. Repeat on the other side.
Next, you'll want to remove the wings. With your knife, cut through the joint to remove the wing and place the wing on the platter. Repeat on the other side.
Here's the fun part: the wishbone. Find the front end breast on your turkey and use your fingers to find the wishbone and remove it. Not only is the wishbone family fun, but removing it will actually make it easier to carve the breast of the turkey.
Now that you've removed the wishbone and found the breastbone of the turkey, it's time to remove the breast. Grab your knife and slice the meat as close as possible to the bone. Using your free hand, pull the meat away as you're cutting it to make the carving process easier. Once the breast meat is off the turkey, repeat this step on the other side and place both breast meats on the cutting board.
Then, you'll want to separate the drumstick and thighs by cutting the joint that connects them. Put your drumsticks on the platter and save the thighs to be sliced next.
On your cutting board, grab the thigh with your tongs and begin slicing the meat away from the bone and repeat on the other thigh. Place your meat on the platter.
Finally, it's time to carve the breast. Using your tongs, hold the breast steady and begin slicing the breast against the grain at the shorter end. Then, place your carved meat on the platter and you're ready to serve!