My dear readers, I love Thanksgiving Dinners!
I have made 3 Thanksgiving Dinners in the last couple weeks and will be making a 4th on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and I love carving the Turkey.
Some people do not like to carve the turkey, but sort of tear it into pieces and pour gravy over the pieces and serve. There is nothing wrong with that… but I am here to tell you that carving a turkey is really not that difficult.
I most likely won’t even dress. Perhaps I will lounge around in my jammies and read, or play with the dog or watch Christmas movies and just…just hang out. 😉
Please don’t feel sorry for me….I am truly blessed. I will thoroughly enjoy this completely peaceful and uneventful day… and we have certainly had our wonderful moments with our previous Thanksgiving Dinners this month. The upcoming intimate dinner on Wednesday with my Captain will top off a wonderful Thanksgiving Season! 😉
Please don’t start carving your turkey the minute you take it from the oven. Allow the bird to rest for at least 20 minutes to allow the juices to settle in the bird. Believe me it does make a difference in a moist or dry turkey. Another way to assure you of a moist turkey is to cut the dark pieces before slicing the white pieces of the bird. The dark pieces will stay moist longer than the white.
While the turkey is resting, assemble your tools for carving including a large freezer zip lock bag that you have labeled “Bones for Stock”. This is for the left over bones and pieces of meat after the carving is done…. that is if you intend to save them for making delicious turkey stock. Believe me, you don’t want to stop carving your turkey to wash your hands to retrieve a baggie.
First your knife must be very sharp and allow yourself plenty of room to get your elbows up and out as you prepare for carving…and use a large cutting board that hopefully has a few grooves to catch any juices. This allows you to keep your working space less messy. And lastly, have your platter close to your cutting board.
Step 1: Cut the band of skin holding the drumstick or cut the string if you have trussed the legs together. The key in removing the thighs/legs, and wings from the turkey’s body is to run your knife along the body until you find the place where the thigh bones or wing bones meet the main part of the bird. By cutting between joints, and not through bones, you can disconnect the bones easily.
Step 2: Grasp the end of the drumstick. Then, place a knife between the drumstick/thigh and body of the turkey, and cut through skin to joint. Remove the entire leg by pulling out and back, using the point of the knife to disjoin it. At this point, you can either leave the thigh and drumstick attached or you can separate the thigh and drumstick at the joint and slice off any dark pieces of the turkey and set aside.
Step 3: Make a long horizontal cut above the wing joint all the way through to the body frame. If you desire, the wing may be disjointed from the body at this point and set aside.
Step 4: Slice straight down with an even stroke at the top of the breast bone all the way through to the horizontal cut you made in the step prior.
Step 6: Repeat previous 4 steps on the opposite side of the bird.
Step 7: Place the whole leg and thigh around the breast meat, or if you have sliced them…place the slices neatly around the breast meat.
Step 8: Place the leftover turkey parts or meaty bones in the labeled zip lock bag to use at a later date for stock, and place in freezer for future use.
Do you have turkey carving issues or are you completely in the zone with carving steps of your own?