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Turkey Carving 101


Want to know how to carve a turkey like a pro? All you need are a few simple tools – a carving knife and fork, a large carving board and a serving platter, and you’re ready for business. Also, don’t forget to allow the turkey to rest before carving – this makes the turkey both juicier and easier to carve.

1. Steady the bird – Begin by making small incisions through the skin at the crease between the breast and leg on one side of the turkey. Firmly grab and bend the leg back toward the cutting board until you hear and feel a “pop.” Repeat the process on the opposite leg. The turkey is now steadied on the board like it has “training wheels.”

2. Remove breast meat – Firmly insert the carving fork into one breast, and with the tip of the carving knife, cut lengthwise along the keel bone (the bone running lengthwise on top of the turkey) of the breast, angling the knife blade along the rib cage to remove the breast meat in one piece. Now, thinly slice the breast crosswise. Repeat process on the opposite breast half.

3. Remove legs – Tilt the turkey on its side, then cut through the thigh joint to separate the leg from the turkey revealing the round oyster – the small round piece of dark meat on the back of the turkey near the thigh. Repeat process on the opposite leg.

4. Separate drumsticks, remove wings – With the knife blade, locate the center joint that separates the drumstick from the thigh, then cut through the joint. Finally, pull the wing away from the body with the carving fork, and cut through the joint to remove the wing from the body. Repeat process on the opposite wing. Arrange turkey pieces attractively on serving platter.

A Turkey Tale
If turkey is called “hindi” in Turkey, where did the turkey get its name? The bird native to America and referred to as a “turkey” actually got its name from a bird known as a guinea fowl originating from the Turkish countryside. Guinea fowls looked like a turkey, but were much smaller. English merchants exported guinea fowl back to England and referred to them as a “turkey bird” or simply a “turkey.” When the English came to America, they mistook the birds (turkeys) for guinea fowl and, hence, called them turkeys.