Thanksgiving. It’s the special occasion to be with everyone. It’s a good time to get together with family. And what is Thanksgiving without its greatest symbol? Yes, a whole Turkey. It’s delicious, healthy, and is the perfect match for the table.
Except for one small snag.
One of the greatest challenges in a Thanksgiving dinner is the act of slicing a whole piece of turkey. It’s an inescapable task. Be it as the head of the family or as an esteemed guest, good manners are needed to make good slices of turkey. It would be quite an embarrassment if you acted like you’re sawing a piece of wood because you got stuck in the act of carving.
To begin with, carving a turkey should not be seen as a chore. Rather, it should be understood as a form of science as well as art. Carving a turkey needs a lot of creativity as well as knowledge of basic anatomy. The key here is how to cut the meat to the joints. This is the part that’s easiest to separate.
Here are the simple steps in carving a whole turkey for Thanksgiving:
- Select a sharp, thin knife. It must be sharp enough to run along smoothly and wih least resistance. Then, run the knife along the bottom part of the roast, locating the place where the thigh meets the rest of the body
- Gently slip the knife through the joints, and then slightly nudge the two parts away. You’ve now separated the leg from the body.
- Using the same technique from above, locate the joint between the drumstick and the thigh. Cut through the joint, not the bone.
- This time, run the entire meat along the bone. You should separate the meat from the bone in one go. Not only will this look good in appearance, you’d be able to impress the people watching you when it comes to turkey carving.
- Cut the thing and leg into thing pieces. If you had performed step four correctly, then this step shouldn’t be a problem at all.
- Use the knife again when you’re looking for the joint between the wings and the body. Use the same separation technique you employed on the legs and thigh. By now, it should be easier for you to do it already.
- Add a little pressure on the joints in the wings. It should come off quickly. You should then perform the same procedure of meat separating from bone procedure in the previous steps.
- Once you’re done, begin cutting very thin slices from the breast. Make sure that your cuts are parallel to the center of the breast.
- Once you’re done, you can begin the entire procedure on the other side.
Aside from the act of carving turkey itself, there are other tips to be remembered. If you’re going to cut turkey that had just been roasted, then it would be good to wrap it up in foil first and let it stand for a few minutes. This would let the meat cook on its own, as well as lower the temperature. A hot turkey lets moisture out too fast. Letting it cool down a bit prevents that.
In addition, take note that turkey meat is dry to begin with. You need to cut meat in a proper order so that it would remain juicy the longer. It is advisable to cut dark meat before white, since the darker portions are less likely to dry out than the white ones. And make sure that you serve the meat immediately after carving, so that everyone can enjoy the full turkey goodness.
So that’s how it is. It’s pretty simple if you think about it. As long as you follow these simple instructions, then you can never go wrong in turkey carving. Not only is it actually fun, but it makes for a good bonding time with the family. Sharing the Thanksgiving meal is an important ritual in this special event.
Relax, you don’t need to panic. And always put a smile in that face. It goes a long way, and it helps in keeping your composure in case you get stuck with some stubborn bone. But I’m sure you can pull it off.