Year-Round Roasting | Weldon Owen, 2014
How to carve a turkey tends to be one of those dreaded Thanksgiving Day rituals along with how to restrain your husband from arguing politics with your brother, how to kindly shush your mother before she tells you yet again that she knows the perfect haircut for you, and how to defiantly ignore those who bitterly complain if the football game isn’t left on during the dinner. Here’s how to make the meal—well, the turkey carving part, anyways—as Rockwell-ian as possible.—Renee Schettler Rossi
Carving a turkey at the table is a holiday ritual. It’s easier than many people think, especially if you divide the practice into these distinct steps.
1. Remove the drumsticks.
Place the bird, breast-side up, on a carving board with the legs facing you. Using a carving knife, cut through the skin between the breast and the thigh. Locate the thigh joint and cut through it to remove the drumstick. Repeat on the other side. Leave the thighs on the bird to stabilize it while you remove the breast.
2. Carve the breast.
There are two ways to handle the breast: either carve it directly from the bird or first remove the entire breast from the turkey and then cut it into neat slices. Here are instructions for the latter. Just above the thigh and wing, carve a deep horizontal cut through the breast to the bone to create a base cut. Slip your knife alongside the breastbone and slice down along the breastbone to meet the horizontal cut. You should be able to remove the entire breast half. Place it on a cutting surface and slice it crosswise to cut into thick medallions. Repeat on the other side.
3. Remove the thighs and wings.
You’ve already cut around the thigh so you should be able to pry each thigh away from the joint fairly easily and then use the knife to slice the thighs from the bird. If desired, cut each thigh into thick slices. Next, locate the joint between each wing and the breastbone and cut through the joints to remove the wings.
4. Arrange the turkey on a platter or cutting board [Editor’s Note. That’s it. Your work here is done. All that remains is to graciously accept accolades from family and friends. That wasn’t so tricky, was it?]
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Excerpted from Year-Round Roasting © 2014 Editors of Williams-Sonoma. Photo © 2014 Eric Wolfinger. All rights reserved.