- It is up to your preference but don’t feel required to carve table side. Though a common tradition in many families, it’s perfectly fine to carve the turkey in the kitchen and bring the arranged platter to the table. This especially holds true if you’re a novice at carving.
Turkey Carving Tools
Use a carving knife or a chef’s knife. The longer the knife, the better it will work, as a long, smooth slicing motion will make for better slices. We used a long carving knife with oval indentations along the blade to reduce friction. Tip: Be sure to let the turkey rest for at least 25 minutes before slicing: this helps the juices redistribute through the meat, making for a better-tasting turkey. (It also makes it easier to carve.)
- Remove the drumsticks and thighs. Start by pulling a drumstick away from the bird and using the knife to disconnect the thigh bone from the body. Set it aside to carve later, and remove the second drumstick.
- Remove the wings in the same fashion to fully expose the breast for carving. The wings on modern, commercial birds contain very little meat, so they’re often used mainly for presentation on the platter.
- To carve the bird, make sure it’s lying on its back, breast-side up. Begin with a long horizontal cut at the base of the breast. You might be able to feel where the breast meat ends and the bone begins–cut as close to that area as you can.
- Begin slicing the breast from the top down, working at a slight angle to cut away from the carcass. The horizontal cut at the bottom provides a convenient stopping point, making it easy to finish each cut. Transfer slices to a warmed serving platter.
- To carve a drumstick, hold one end and slice off one side. Lay it flat on the cutting board and continue carving. Slice each side, turning the drumstick a quarter turn until you’ve removed all the meat.
- Place the thigh on the cutting board and begin slicing parallel to the thigh bone. Cut into even strips.
- Arrange the rest of the meat onto the warmed platter and serve.