Because the Thanksgiving turkey is often the centerpiece of the meal, it can be intimidating to prepare. Additionally, many people struggle with the turkey carving. However, with a few helpful tips and tools like the Tengoku Chef Knife Set, you can easily carve your turkey like a pro. To make the process smooth, utilize the following tips to learn to carve a turkey.
USING THE RIGHT TOOLS
If you’re planning on carving a turkey, having the right tools is essential. A good carving knife and a pair of kitchen scissors are a great starting point. Consider investing in a good cutting board with a built-in juice groove. The Gourmet Acacia, End Grain Cutting Board is the perfect choice. It will catch any juices, and it makes the process less messy.
LETTING THE TURKEY REST
Once you’ve taken the turkey out of the oven, let it sit for 30 minutes. This will help it cool down and allow the juices and spices to settle in the bird. If you used trussing strings to tie up the legs and other parts of the bird, it’s time to remove them using kitchen scissors. Be sure to remove all the strings to avoid any unpleasant surprises when someone cuts into their piece of turkey. Once you’ve removed the strings, it’s time to carve the bird.
CARVING THE DRUMSTICKS AND THIGHS
Begin by focusing on the drumsticks and thighs. If you happen to have a boning knife, it can come in handy for this part. Start by identifying the drumstick. As you hold down the breast area with some paper towels, gently pull the drumstick away. It’s essential to avoid cutting through the bird’s bones when you reach the joints.
Instead, use the boning knife to carefully carve around the joints. You should also gently pull back the meat of the drumstick and the thigh until you hear a popping sound. This sound indicates that the joint has been detached. Repeat this process for each drumstick. Once you have removed the thigh and the drumstick, place it on a different cutting board to slice for presentation later.
REMOVING THE WISHBONE
Removing the wishbone is the next important step in learning how to carve a turkey. To do this, locate the neck cavity and use a knife to create a small opening. Although it may not seem significant, removing the wishbone will make it easier to cut the breast meat. After making the small opening, reach in with your hands to grab the wishbone. You may need to move some of the flesh around the breast meat to locate it.
SLICING A TURKEY BREAST
Use a sharp option like the Kyodai Utility Kitchen Knife to make a vertical cut down the center of the breast. This cut should be along the breastbone. Once you’ve made the initial cut, you’ll locate the breastbone in the middle of the turkey breast. Be careful not to cut through the breastbone as it’s quite hard. You don’t want to damage a knife during the turkey carving process.
Instead, move your knife slightly to the left or right of the breastbone and start cutting along the side. Follow the contour of the bone. This will allow you to separate the meat from the bone in an easier manner. As you continue to cut down the middle of the breastbone, slightly turn your knife to find the rib cage. You’ll feel the rib cage with your knife.
Once you’ve located the rib cage, start cutting downward along it to remove the breast meat evenly on either side. Use a gentle, slicing motion to separate the meat from the bones. It’s essential to have a very sharp knife for this process. A sharp knife will make it easier and safer to separate the meat from the bone without applying excessive force.
PLATING THE TURKEY
To make it easy for your guests to get their slices of turkey, properly plate it. Start with the two breasts, which are the larger pieces of the turkey. As you cut each breast, try to keep the skin intact. Many people love the taste and texture of the skin. Hold the breast taut, and slice the turkey to a slant.
Be sure to mix up your cutting method by slicing some thin pieces as well as thick pieces. Make sure to include portions of both dark and light meat to allow your guests to choose their preferred option. When you’re ready to serve it on the table, use fresh herbs to garnish and add a nice touch. Some herbs to consider include rosemary, sage, and thyme. Stick with herbs that you would typically use when you’re seasoning the turkey.
APPLYING YOUR KNOWLEDGE
When it comes to uncovering the proper way to carve a turkey, the size of the bird doesn’t really matter. Whether it’s a small bird or a large one, the same rules apply. By following the best way to carve a turkey and using high-quality tools such as great knives, you’ll be equipped to seamlessly cut your turkey like a pro. As you prepare to do lots of cooking and prepping for the holidays, find your knife set at Seido Knives today.