Holiday Feature


Chapter 9. Carving the Bird

  • Rule #14: Make sure your carving knife is sharp.
    Sharpen with a steel or electric sharpener, whetstone or other sharpening gadget. You are more likely to cut yourself using a dull knife than a sharp one.

Turkey Tip: Use a long-two pronged carving fork to hold the bird steady as you cut.


Basic Carving steps

  • Step 1: Removing the thigh, drumstick & wings
    • hold the drumstick and pull it away from the body;
    • slice through the skin to the joint where the leg meets the backbone
    • cut through the joint, pressing the leg away from the body with the side of the knife
    • when the leg is freed, cut through the drumstick-thigh joint
    • if desired, cut these pieces into slices, running the knife parallel to the bone.
    • to cut the wings off, follow the same type of procedures, always cutting through the joint
  • Step 2: Carving the breast
    • make a long slit across the base of the breast, parallel to the wing, all the way to the rib cage
    • cut thin slices vertically across the beast; if done properly, the horizontal cut you made at the base will allow these slices to fall off gently as you progress through the breast.

More about Carving a Roast Chicken or Turkey with Photos


FoodWine's Perfect Turkey Handbook

Preface: Safety Tips Before Cooking

Chapter 1. Buying a Turkey

  • What size turkey should I buy?
  • Is it better to buy one large turkey or two small ones?
  • Should I buy fresh or frozen?
  • What about turkeys that have been injected with fats and seasonings?
  • What about turkey parts and frozen stuffed turkeys?

Chapter 2. Storing an Uncooked Turkey

  • How long can a whole turkey be kept frozen?
  • How long can a fresh turkey be kept refrigerated?

Chapter 3. Thawing a Frozen Turkey

  • Thawing Rules
  • Thawing Methods
  • Turkey Thawing Charts

Chapter 4. Stuffing (or Not Stuffing) a Turkey

  • Is it best to cook the stuffing inside the bird, or separately in a baking dish?
  • If I do want to stuff the bird, what's the best way to do it?
  • How much stuffing do I need?
  • Do I need to close up the cavity after it has been stuffed?

Chapter 5. Preparing the Turkey for Roasting

  • Preparations Step-by-Step
  • Stuffing & Trussing
  • Do I need to truss the bird's legs, or can I just roast it the extra effort?

Chapter 6. Roasting the Turkey

  • Roasting Step-by-Step
  • How do I keep the breast meat moist when cooking?

Chapter 7. How to Tell When It's Done

  • Use a Meat Thermometer
  • My turkey comes with a plastic pop-up timer. Can't I use that instead?
  • How accurate are "recommended cooking times"?
  • How can I tell when the turkey is done?
  • USDA Timetable for Turkey Roasted at 325 degrees F.

Chapter 8. Making the Gravy

  • Rules for Making Gravy
  • Making the Basic Gravy
  • Additions to Gravy

Chapter 9. Carving the Bird

  • Basic Carving steps
  • Removing the Thigh, Drumstick & Wings
  • Carving the breast

Chapter 10. Storing Leftovers & Food Safety After Cooking

  • Storing leftovers
  • Reheating leftovers


FoodWine's Perfect Turkey Handbook
Using a Meat Thermometer

All About Knives and Carving


This page modified November 2006

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