Helpful instructions on creating the ultimate turkey experience!
Basic Turkey Carving
Courtesy of Maudine Thomas
Let It Rest
Trying to carve a turkey right out of the oven is a big no-no. All large pieces of meat or poultry need some resting time. Turkey needs at least 30 minutes to allow the juices to settle in. Cover the bird with foil and a big towel so the meat cools slowly.
It is best to remove the turkey from the oven, let it rest for 30 minutes, and then remove from the roasting pan onto a cutting board. Make sure the board is large enough to hold the bird with some extra room on the sides to make carving a lot easier. Set a serving plate near so the meat can be transferred easily.
Use the Right Turkey Tools
It is not necessary to have the biggest knife ever, or even an electric knife. But a good carving set will make a world of difference, with the two-pronged fork being the biggest game changer. Look for sturdy, balanced handles with a grippy feel to prevent slipping.
Carving the Bird
Your goal is a serving platter full of nice pieces. Think of an eye-appealing selection of both white and dark meat, not a messy pile of chunks.
Instead of tackling the breast first, leave it be. The white meat of a turkey dries out faster, so the longer that is is kept protected under that skin, the more moist it will be.
First, slice off the lower leg (drum stick). Set aside and carefully cut off the thigh. Next, you can use the same method for the wings. Carefully remove the meat from the bones making sure not to leave any excess fat or small leg bones on the pieces. Arrange neatly on one end of the platter.
As far as the breast is concerned, start at the top of the breast along the breast bone, and cut as near to the bone as you can from top to bottom removing one whole side of the breast. Do this on both sides. The closer you get to the breastbone, the more meat you will have for the serving platter. Once you have your two large breast pieces on your cutting board skin side up, set the turkey carcass aside, but DO NOT throw it away. Carve the breast against the grain sort of like a roast. Make the slices thick or thin, whatever you prefer. If you do this right, you can easily place the slices (with skin on) on your serving platter. Garnish with fresh Rosemary and citrus.
1-2 Carrots (no need to peel)
1 Red Onion, cut in half
2 Celery Stocks, broken in halves
1/4 cup White Vinegar
Now that the turkey is carved off, you can still use the carcass. If you have a LARGE slow cooker, place the carcass in the pot and fill it halfway with water or chicken broth. You can also put the carcass in a large stock pot. The vinegar pulls more calcium out of the bones to make a richer bone broth. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low. Simmer 8-12 hours for a delicious turkey stock.