No question about it: The bird is the star of the Thanksgiving meal. So after you spend time preparing, roasting, frying or smoking your turkey, don't ruin it with a poor carving job.
We asked chefs Vinnie Livoti and John Lindower with Blue Cross/Blue Shield food services and David Grillo with Cantina 76 on Devine Street to demonstrate carving techniques for your Thanksgiving turkey. Livoti is also president of the American Culinary Federation's Midlands chapter (acfmidlands.com).
They cooked both a deep fried and a roasted turkey to demonstrate. Choosing which style of cooking a turkey is a matter of preference, with each offering different taste and textures.
Step 1. Before you cook the turkey, fold the wings back underneath the bird. That flattens the bottom of the turkey, making it easier to carve.
Let the turkey rest for at least 20 minutes after removing it from the oven. It can sit out a maximum of 2 hours before being refrigerated.
Step. 2. Using a knife, separate the leg and thigh from the breast at the joint. Feel around for the joint and then press down with the knife to cut through.
Step 3. After cutting apart the leg and the thigh at the joint, it's time to cut the dark meat off the leg. Hold the leg by the top of the bone and slice downward.
Step 4. Repeat for the thighs, slicing downward to remove the meat from the bone.
Step 5. To cut the breast meat, make an incision at the base of the breast and cut across toward the bone.
Step 6. Slice down with the direction of the breast.
Step. 7. Continue cutting the breast meat, working your way closer to the interior carcass. You can cut the slices as thick as you like, with a typical slice being about 1/8 -inch thick.
Step 8. Remove the wings. Those are more for picking apart and eating, not carving. They can also be used as garnish on the turkey platter.