How to Carve a Turkey

How-to Article

How to Carve a Turkey

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Things To Grab

  • Aluminum foil
  • Large cutting board
  • Large sharp knife, such as a traditional carving knife or electric carving knife
  • Serving platter

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    Of course there's more than one way to carve a turkey, but we like this tried-and-true approach.

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    1. Before carving a fresh-from-the-oven bird, cover it in foil and rest 20 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute and prevents the turkey from becoming dry.

    2. Just before carving, remove any stuffing, strings, or clamps.

    3. Begin by removing one turkey leg (drumstick and thigh). Holding the end of a drumstick to steady the bird, slice down along the crease between the drumstick and the body. As the drumstick begins to separate from the body, press it down until it is almost flat on the cutting surface. Cut through the hip joint where the drumstick and thigh attach to the body. Set the drumstick and thigh piece aside. Repeat on the opposite side. Slice meat off drumstick, if desired, and cut off thigh meat for serving.

    4. Slice off each wing by cutting down through the crease between the wing and body. Feel for a socket joint where the wing attaches and cut through the joint.

    5. To remove the breast, first use your fingers to locate the breast bone. Insert your knife and use the breast bone to guide your knife.

      Hyvee Culinary Expert Tip
      Need to steady your bird? Use a carving fork to steady the body while cutting.
      Hy-Vee Test Kitchen
    6. Once your knife has reached the end of the breast bone, make a horizontal cut along the base of the breast. Remove the breast as one large piece. Repeat the process as stated above to remove the second breast from the turkey.

    7. Once you have removed both breasts from the turkey, it is time to slice! Place breast halves on a cutting board and slice across the width of the breast.

    8. Arrange slices and drumsticks on a platter, and you're done. Time to join your hungry guests at the table.