How To Carve a Turkey

Leah Bourne

Cooking your turkey properly is half the battle. Next, you need to carve it. Instead of turning into a stress project, follow along with these steps and you’ll be chowing down on your perfectly roasted bird in no time at all.
Step 1: Let the Bird Rest. You are going to want your turkey to rest for between 20 to 30 minutes after you take it out of the oven. Keep in mind, if you start carving too early, juice from the turkey will start running out of the bird, and it will dry out.
Step 2: Separate the Leg and the Thigh From the Body. Using a sharp knife, cut the piece of skin between the body and the leg of your turkey. Then pull the body of the bird in one hand and the leg and the thigh of the turkey in another hand until you hear a pop. Carve around the joint until you don’t get any resistance. Pull the leg and the thigh away from the body of the turkey all in one piece. Repeat on the other side.
Step 3: Separate the Leg From the Thigh. Take your knife and cut between the drumstick and the thigh bone. Move you knife around the thigh bone a bit until you don’t get any resistance. Make the final cut and separate the drumstick from the thigh.
Step 4: Cut the Thigh Meat. Grab the end of the thigh bone, and take your knife and scrape the meat away from the bone. Once you get the meat separated from the thigh bone, you can begin to carve it.
Step 5: Separate the Wing From the Body. The wing is attached to the turkey by a ball joint. Cut the the area between the wing and body until you get to the joint. Then, grab the wing and pull it away from the turkey until you hear a pop. Once you hear that pop, take your knife and start cutting through the tendons and ligaments surrounding the joint until you separate the wing from the body. You can serve the wing whole on your platter. Repeat on the other side.
Step 6: Carve the Turkey Breast. There are lots of different ways to carve the breast meat. To maintain the bird’s juiciness, cut the entire breast off the turkey and then carve it up into smaller slices. Find the breastbone in the middle of the turkey. Pick which breast you’re going to carve first, and make a cut right next to the breastbone on that side. Continue carving down the side of the breastbone. Continue making small slices with your knife until you can separate the entire breast from the turkey. Once it’s off, grab your large carving knife and slice the meat against the grain starting at the small point of the breast. Slice the turkey whatever way you prefer at this point.
Step 7: Enjoy. Happy Thanksgiving! Now, let’s eat.
Star Chefs Share Their Favorite Thanksgiving Sides
Design Challenge: I Need a Bedding Makeover

Promoted Stories