Cooking Louisiana  -  Carving a Turkey
Carving a turkey is not tough. When I carve a turkey it gets done once, all at the same time, and that's it. Here's how to carve a turkey properly, especially the turkey breast. The objectives are these, you don't have people hacking on the turkey messing it all up, you serve it in plate size portions, you separate the white and the dark meat and lastly it make it look like you know what you're doing!!!, and you do.

With a sharp knife cut the breast away from the carcass and set aside. This can be tricky and with practice you'll get better at it. Practice on baked chicken through the year, same thing.

Cut away the leg/thigh and the wings at their joints and set aside.

Cut and/or pick all the meat you can off the carcass and set aside.

If you're going to save the carcass for a gumbo break it into as many pieces as you can and bag it up to put in the ice box or freezer.

You can use your roasting pan to put the turkey in.

Start with the breast and, with an electric knife, slice the breast as shown.Carving a Turkey

Cutting in this manner is "against the grain". This gives you a nice slice that's not stringy.

Set the breast halves in the pan keeping it together as it was sliced. Be careful, make it look nice.

Now, slice away the thigh meat from the bones. If it's a BIG bird cut into the thigh meat perpendicular to the bone in "slices", then, cut the meat away from the bone. The legs and wings are for show right now; if somebody grabs one to eat (like I would), good. I didn't mention the neck; that's because I eat that while I'm carving the turkey. (I'm not as stupid as I look)

Arrange the parts and pieces as shown below keeping the white meat near the breast and dark meat near the legs. It's a great and practical presentation. The side slicing of a turkey on TV is for show and makes no sense. It's like drinking milk with a fork.

Here's the final product. White meat to the right and dark meat to the left. (yes, the neck is in there). You can garnish if you want to dress it up some

Carving a Turkey

You can now pour a little gravy over the entire bird to moisten it up and add flavor.

Happy cooking...
Class dismissed; test on Thursday