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 &
- 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.
- 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?
- How long can a whole turkey be kept frozen?
- How long can a fresh turkey be kept refrigerated?
- Thawing Rules
- Thawing Methods
- Turkey Thawing Charts
- 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?
- Preparations Step-by-Step
- Stuffing & Trussing
- Do I need to truss the bird's legs, or can I just roast it the extra effort?
- Roasting Step-by-Step
- How do I keep the breast meat moist when cooking?
- 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.
- Rules for Making Gravy
- Making the Basic Gravy
- Additions to Gravy
- Basic Carving steps
- Removing the Thigh, Drumstick & Wings
- Carving the breast
- Storing leftovers
- Reheating leftovers
- Back to Thanksgiving Headquarters
This page modified November 2006