by: Michael LansingTo someone who is just learning to cook, this topic may seem like one of the hardest meals you will ever have to prepare. Needless to say, if you’re having a turkey there’s usually company involved which means a number of hungry people are relying on you to prepare a great meal. This can be very intimidating. Luckily we have all the information you need, in order to ensure a great meal for you, your friends and your family.
In order to successfully carve a turkey, you will need to have the following pieces of equipment:
• One warm serving platter
• A pair of kitchen scissors
• An electric knife or a large slicing knife (you may want to choose a manual knife since they provide more control than electric ones)
• A small carving knife or fork for arranging and serving the meat
Now that you have the equipment you need to carve the turkey, follow these steps in order to become a turkey carving expert:
1. Leave the turkey to sit 20-30 minutes after roasting and before carving. This will make the meat moister and easier to cut.
2. After the turkey has sat for the time indicated above, transfer the turkey onto a cutting board; this is where you will begin carving the turkey.
3. Remove the Leg: To do this, hold the drumstick firmly with your fingers and gently pull the meat away from the body of the turkey. While doing this, cut through the skin between the leg and the body. Next, cut through the joint joining the leg to the backbone. Then separate the drumstick and thigh by cutting downwards through the joint, until the knife hits the cutting board.
4. Slicing the Drumstick (Leg) Meat: Once you have detached the leg from the rest of the body, you will want to slice the meat. Hold the drumstick in an upright position and turn the drumstick in a circular motion while cutting downwards. This will produce tasty slices of meat which are approximately equal size.
5. Slicing the Thigh Meat: When slicing thigh meat, you want to hold it close to the plate and secure it so it does not move. For best results when cutting thigh meat, make sure your knife is parallel to the bone and cut downwards towards the plate in slow, steady motions.
6. Slicing the Breast Meat: Make a deep cut into the breast of the turkey towards the body frame, as close to the wing as you can. Starting at the front of the turkey (about halfway up the breast) start cutting downwards, parallel to the cut you made to the wing. Only cut enough meat as you think necessary for the amount of people. Uncut meat will stay fresher longer.
7. Serve the Turkey: place all the slices of meat in an attractive manner on a large platter and serve to your guests.
* Note: Remove stuffing from the turkey either by taking it out of the hole made where the leg was removed or by making a new hole in the neck and taking it out from there.
About the author:
Mike Lansing is a retired chef who spent most of his time as a Head Chef in New Orleans after training in France. He spends his free time cooking for family and friends, as well as serving as a contributing editor for CookingSchools101.com which offers information on Culinary Schools and obtaining a Culinary Degree for those wishing to enter the trade.