Sheila Lukins
Cookbook Author, U.S.A. Cookbook

Turkey Tips

How To Carve a Turkey

1. After removing your bird from the oven, always allow it to rest, loosely covered with aluminum foil, for 15 to 20 minutes, so the juices settle in.

2. Remove any strings and skewers after the bird has rested. If you've stuffed your turkey, spoon the stuffing out to a serving bowl and cover loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm.

3. Use a carving fork to hold the bird in place as you carve.

4. Remove the drumsticks first: Insert the carving fork into the meaty part of each drumstick to hold it firmly. Place the knife between the drumstick and the thigh and cut through the skin to the joint, then through the joint. Leave the drumstick whole or fans will be very disappointed.

5. Separate each thigh from the body by pressing it outward with the knife while holding the turkey in place with the fork. If the joint doesn't disengage easily, cut through it. Slice the thighs.

6. Disjoint and separate the wings in the same fashion.

7. Next, carve the breast: Make a horizontal cut across the bottom of one side of the breast with the carving knife. Slice the breast meat downward with straight, even strokes, beginning at the outside edge near where the leg was attached. When the knife reaches the incision above the wing bone, the slices will fall free. Continue slicing, working in toward the breastbone, until the breastbone is reached. Always carve across the grain. Once the first cut is made, the angle at which the knife is held should never change. Use long, sweeping strokes to ensure smooth, even slices. Once you've sliced the meat from the first half, repeat the process on the second half of the breast.

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