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How to Carve a Turkey

How to Carve a Turkey in 5 Steps

You worked hard on buying, prepping and roasting your Thanksgiving bird to perfection. Knowing how to carve a turkey is the last leg of your Thanksgiving turkey adventure.

To carve, you need a sharp carving knife, a large cutting board—preferably with a groove to catch juices—and a carving fork or pair of tongs.

Step 1: Start with the Legs

Cut the legs and thighs away from the body of the turkey by slicing through the skin, down to the joint where the thigh attaches to the body.

To prevent the cutting board from sliding around, set the cutting board on top of a damp kitchen towel.

Step 2: Remove the Leg-Thigh Sections

Bend the leg-thigh section back and pop the thigh out of its socket. Cut through any remaining skin and meat still attached to the body. Remove the other leg-thigh section in the same manner.


To ensure maximum juiciness, allow the turkey to rest at least 30 min. before carving.

Step 3: Separate the Leg and Thigh

Use your fingers to locate the leg-thigh joint. Cut through the joint to separate the thigh and drumstick. Slice down both sides of the thigh bone and remove it. Slice the thigh meat and arrange on a serving platter. Leave the drumsticks whole or remove the meat with your fingers. Separate and carve the other leg and thigh in the same manner.


Step 4: Remove the Breast Meat

Make a deep cut just above the wing along the bottom of one side of the breast section. Now cut down one side of the breast bone toward the wing cut you just made—the breast will start to fall away from the body. Trim it free. Remove the other breast half in the same manner.Carving-4_large

Step 5: Slice the Breast Meat

Cut both breast halves across the grain into ½-inch-thick slices and arrange them on the platter with the dark meat.Carving-5_large