This post is so timely. How to carve a turkey – carving is an art, a great skill. I remember from my earliest childhood memories, wanting to be the man in the kitchen who gets to carve the turkey at Thanksgiving. I know this may be a little chauvinistic but carving a turkey is such a right of passage into manhood. Do you men feel the same way? How about the woman out there, do you appreciate the masculinity associated with carving?
Now, there are a couple of approaches on how to carve a turkey. One is to slice the breast right from the carcass which produces nice long slices and the second one is to take the whole breast off the carcass and then slicing across the grain. In either case, the legs and wings are sliced off first, and then, you move to the breast.
- 22 lb turkey
- Season salt and Poultry seasoning
Season the turkey liberally with the seasonings. Place on a broiler pan with 1 to 1 1/2 cups of water in the tray. Cook for approximately 4 hours at 350 degrees. Keep an eye on the skin through the cooking process. Approximately 2 hours in, my skin had the darkness I wanted. Just grab some foil and create a tent over the top and the skin will not brown anymore. Now this is important, use a thermometer. Cook the turkey until the turkey gets to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. One other big point, let the turkey rest for at least 15 minutes and 30 is even better before carving.
Directions on How to Carve a Turkey:
After letting the turkey rest, begin by cutting the legs and thighs off. The first cut is from the top that separates the from the breast. Then with your hand, pull the leg a little away from the breast. You will then see where the thigh joint is connected to the carcass. Take the knife and cut right into the knuckle.
The thigh and leg should then pull off pretty easily. Once the first leg and thigh is cut, do the same for the other side. Now flip the bird over and work on the wing.
Same idea, pull the wing away from the breast so you can see where the joint is. Take the knife and cut into the knuckle again. This is a little tougher on the wing. Keep pulling the wing away from the breast to find the weak area of the knuckle.
To finish the carving, turn the bird back over. To remove the whole breast, cut down from the center bone. Then, cut across from below the breast towards the center of the carcass. Keep working from upwards down, and from the bottom in, until the whole breast comes off. Remove the breast and put on the carving board.
To serve the breast, cut crosswise making nice pieces of the breast.
Serve and enjoy!