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Carving Turkey

Carving a turkey can be intimidating. After cooking the turkey, let it rest for at least 20 minutes before you begin carving. These instructions create the most attractive cuts, so you can even carve the bird at tableside. Bring the turkey to the table on a platter. You'll need a large cutting board with wells around the edges to catch juices during dark meat carving.

  1. With a long, extra-sharp carving or chef's knife, remove legs by slicing down and back to where the thigh attaches to the bird. Cut through the joint until leg comes off; remove to cutting board.
  2. With skin side up, knee facing you, separate the drumstick from the thigh, slicing through the joint, which is closer to the drumstick bone than the thigh.
  3. Drumstick may be served whole or cut in thin slices on all four sides, parallel to the bone. Cut away thigh meat in strips parallel to the thighbone.
  4. Steady the turkey by holding the fork against the breastbone. Just above the wing, make a long, deep horizontal base cut straight into the turkey as far as the knife will go.
  5. Make downward diagonal slices, with each slice a little higher up on the breast, and end at the base cut. Slices will fall away onto the platter. When the first side is done, repeat on the other.
  6. To steady the bird, leave wings on until you've carved both sides of the breast. To remove the wing, slice into the joint, which attaches it to the body, carving as much meat from the body as possible.