How to Carve a Turkey

 Thanksgiving,Cooking How-To,Featured Article,Holidays,How-To
November 21, 2011

Expert tips from a couple of professional butchers make carving your holiday turkey a snap.

How to Carve a Turkey
Mark Boughton/styling: Teresa Blackburn
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If you've ever carved a turkey at Thanksgiving or Christmas before, you know that it's not as easy as it sounds. Amelia Posada and Erika Nakamura, self-described "sustainable butchers" and co-owners of Lindy & Grundy Meats in Los Angeles offer up tips to make the job more doable—even for first-time turkey carvers.

With a sharp knife separate the leg and the thigh from the body by cutting the piece of skin in between the body and the leg to separate them. Pull the leg from the body to expose the joint that holds them together; carve around the joint until resistance has diminished. Pull the leg and the thigh away from the body of the turkey all in one piece. Repeat on the other side.
Hold the drumstick; stand the thigh and leg piece up on its end. To separate the leg from the thigh, cut between the drumstick and the thigh bone. Move you knife around the thigh bone until resistance has diminished; separate the drumstick from the thigh.
Carefully scrape the thigh meat away from the bone; carve into slices.
Separate the wing from the body by cutting the area between the wing and body until you reach the joint. Pull the wing from the turkey; cut around the joint until the wing is separated from the body. Repeat with other side.
To carve the turkey breast find the breastbone in the middle. Carve right next to the breastbone down one side peeling the breast away from the bone as you are cutting.
Slice the meat against the grain starting at the small point of the breast. Repeat with other side.

Tip: Save the carcass to make a rich turkey stock.