Nov 21, 2006

How To Carve The Thanksgiving Bird Tips

There is no one way to cut a turkey down to size. But here are some helpful tips

TURKEY. Let the cooked bird rest: at least 20 minutes before carving to give juices time to settle and allow the meat to firm.

TOOLS. Use 2 sharp knives: a long, thin one for slicing and a short-bladed one (4 to 6 in.) for poking into joints. Use a carving fork to hold the bird in place or, for more control, grip the bird with your hand, using a clean pot holder or napkin to protect your fingers and the bird.

LEGS. With a long knife, make a cut parallel to the carcass at the base of the thigh on each side of the joint

Then press the turkey leg down to expose the hip joint, poke a short-bladed knife into the joint, and cut and twist to sever the tendon

Lay the leg on a plate and cut through the knee joint. Slice the meat off the thigh parallel to the bone.

WINGS. Use a long knife to cut under the wing parallel to the carcass on each side of the shoulder joint (tilt the knife at an angle). Push the wing down to expose the joint, poke a short-bladed knife tip into the joint, and cut and twist to sever the tendon.

Cut wings apart at the joints.

BREAST. Use a long knife to make a horizontal cut along the bottom of the breast, starting at the wing joint . Then angle the blade upward, under the breast, parallel to the carcass, until you hit the vertical breastbone.

Slice the breast parallel to the carcass; the base cut lets slices separate neatly. Or, to cut the breast free and carve it off the bird, make the same first cut along the base of the breast and upward.

Then, from the top of the bird, cut between the breastbone and the meat along the length of the breast, angling the knife down, parallel to the carcass, to meet the first cut.

Lift the breast half off, set it on a platter, and slice crosswise.

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