How to Carve Turkey Carving a Turkey If you are a confident turkey carver, place the turkey on a large serv- ing platter and carve it at the table. For the majority of us, carving the turkey in the kitchen is a safer bet. Place the turkey on a carving board, ideally one that has a moat and well to catch the delicious poultry juices. Untie the bird and remove the skewers, if you used them. Using a sharp carving knife and meat fork, cut down between the thigh and body until you feel bone. Twist and pull down on the leg and thigh a little until you see the thigh joint. Now cut through the joint to separate Recipe picture the thigh from the body. Cut the joint where the leg meets the thigh. Re- peat on the other side. Now you have legs and thighs ready for a warm platter. To carve the breast meat, start at the keel bone that runs along the top of the breast. Angle the knife and cut thin slices of breast meat from one side of the bird. Continue until you reach the rib cage; then carve the other breast. (Alternatively, some carvers prefer to cut the entire side of the breast from the bone and then slice the breast on an angle into thick slices.) At this point you should have plenty of meat for serving. Lay slices of breast meat in an overlapping fashion down the center of the platter. Place the legs and thighs along the side. If a guest wants to have a wing, pull back the wing until you see the joint between the wing and the body, cut through that joint, and add the wing to the platter. Cover From: The New Thanksgiving Table the rest of the turkey loosely with aluminum foil and remove the rest of An American Celebration of the meat from the carcass later for some fine leftovers. Family, Friends, and Food By Diane Morgan Presentation When considering presentation, the question you have to ask yourself is: Do you want drama or ease of serving for Thanksgiving dinner? There is no right or wrong answer; it’s a matter of what you are comfortable with. Presenting a whole roasted bird on a large, artfully garnished platter is a showstopper on a buffet or at the head of a dining table. Just remember, you’ll need to study the section on carving so you know what you are doing, and have an attractive carving set (a sharp carving knife and carving fork) ready for the task at hand. Play the part, and carve with authority and confidence. It’s fun. If you want to carve the turkey in the kitchen and present a platter of meat to guests, follow the carving directions above, and garnish one corner of the platter or two corners diagonally opposite each other with some of the garnishes suggested below. Keep it simple; the presentation of fanned-out, overlapping turkey slices is beautiful in itself. Garnishes I always like my garnishes to relate to the dish being garnished. For instance, when I make the Herb Butter–Rubbed Turkey with Giblet Gravy on page 96, I buy or snip from the garden extra bunches of fresh sage, thyme, and parsley. You can either tuck the herbs around the base of the bird or place them at the corners of the platter. For the Maple-Glazed Roast Turkey with Applejack Giblet Gravy on page 92, fresh herbs look great as a garnish, and so do lady apples and kumquats nestled on top of the herbs. See what’s in your garden, if you have one. Interesting greens like kale or savoy cabbage make beautiful gar- nishes. A quick trip to the yard and a few snips with a scissors is all it takes. If you don’t have a garden, peruse the produce aisles of your market for interesting seasonal produce. If the platter is large enough, small gourds and Indian corn nestled on herbs or greens look pretty around the edges of a serving platter. Just avoid the clichés—curly-leaf parsley with slices of orange, or parsley with pickled crabapples—and your turkey will look regal and festive.
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