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how to carve a turkey

Put down that electric knife! We understand that it’s fun and it’s just about the only chance for urban dwellers to get their annual lumberjack on, but it also kind of…well, mangles turkey. You can do this with nothing more than a large, sharp knife, a big ‘ol fork and a thoroughly cooked and rested turkey. Seriously, trying to carve a turkey that isn’t finished is an ugly thing to behold. Cook it just right, rest it for at least 30 minutes (or the juices will run right out and you’ll have the kind of dry turkey everyone complains about), then follow these easy steps. 

  • Using the tip of a sharp knife, poke around the area between the leg and the thigh until you find the socket, or the “sweet spot.” Pull the leg away from the body with one hand and cut it away from the rest of the body.
  • Repeat on the other side, then separate the thigh from the leg and the wings from the body using the same “locate the joint” technique.

Now, for the white meat.

  • Using downward-slanting slices, carve the breast away from the body in even slices, holding the body down with a large fork. The slices will start small and gradually get bigger. Repeat on the other side.
  • Overlap the layers of white meat on the serving tray to help keep them moist – remember, moisture evaporates. 

Sound easy? That’s because it is. Don’t fear the turkey.