So you’ve made it through brining and basting and cooking your Thanksgiving turkey. Now, it’s time to carve it. Whether you bring it to the table carved or carve and serve it in front of your guests, carving the turkey is a process often overlooked during dinner preparation. Everyday Food made an instructional video on how to carve your turkey “like a pro.” The video has almost a half million views and over 4,000 positive ratings. Below is that complete visual guide, to follow along with while you carve:
In the video, Thomas Joseph first recommends you have a pair of kitchen scissors and knives of varied sizes to help you through the process. After resting the turkey for about 30 minutes, you first remove the legs and thighs from the breast with a deboning knife and your hands (to pop the joints).
Next, you cut the skin around the neck cavity to access the wishbone, which you can remove by cutting along the bone before pulling it out with your fingers. With the wishbone removed, it is easier to then remove the breast meat. To remove the breast, you cut along the side of the breastbone (down the middle of the turkey); once your knife hits the ribcage, turn your knife and cut the meat following the line of the breastbone. Remove the wings last, by popping the joints and cutting between the joint and the carcass.
With all of your desired meat removed from the carcass, Joseph recommends you keep the skin on your breast and “using a very sharp carving knife,” cut the meat on a slight angle. To separate the leg from the thigh, make a small cut between the drumstick and the thigh; once you’ve found the joint with your hands, you should be able to “take your knife and gently glide it right through.” After the drumstick has been separated, remove the thigh bone by cutting around it, and then carve the dark thigh meat into slices. Joseph suggests you save that thigh bone for turkey stock.
If you would prefer a step-by-step written guide, Food Network provides one (with photos) here.