How to Carve a Turkey

We understand that the preparation of your meal doesn't necessarily stop when you pull it out of the oven. Since nothing ruins an otherwise perfect turkey dinner like an amateur carving job, here is a step-by-step tutorial to teach you how to carve your turkey like a pro.

Turkey Carving - Holidays & Entertaining –

Step 1: Let the meat rest

Your first step in the carving process is to cover the turkey in aluminum foil and let it sit for around 15 to 20 minutes. This gives the juices time to circulate and allows for perfectly moist, succulent cuts of meat.

While you are waiting for the juices to circulate, gather your supplies. You will need a long, sharp carving knife, a meat fork (the bi-pronged utensil used to steady the bird while cutting) and a large cutting board.

Step 2: Separate the thighs

Once the turkey has had time to rest, place it breast side up on your cutting board and, using the meat fork to steady the bird, run your knife up and down the edge of the carcass until you find the joint that separates the thigh from the body. Once you have located the joint, use your knife to sever it. If you have located the joint correctly, the thigh should come off relatively easily.

If you find yourself trying to hack through pure bone, you are not cutting in the correct location.

Step 3: Remove the legs

After you have removed the thighs, separate the upper thigh from the drumstick by bending it backward and inserting your knife in the joint until it snaps off. Leave the drumsticks intact (they are more fun eaten that way), and slide your knife along the top of the thigh to remove as much of the meat as possible.

Step 4: Cut the wings

In the same way that you separated the thighs, find where the wings connect to the body and use your knife to remove them. Leave the wings intact (there isn’t enough meat on them to warrant additional cutting) and move on to the body of the bird.

Step 5: Prepare the turkey breast

When carving the turkey, you should always carve the dark meat (the legs and thighs) before carving the white meat (the turkey breast), as white meat dries out faster.

Once you have separated the legs and thighs, use your meat fork to steady the turkey and remove the breast by separating it from the breastbone and ribcage, trying to keep the blade of the knife as close to the bone as possible. Once you have removed the breasts, cut them in long, thin slices.

Step 6: Sit down and enjoy your meal

D’Artagnan’s certified organic, free-range turkey is exceptionally flavorful and the perfect meal to serve to family or guests.