How to prepare and carve a turkey

    Give your roast turkey the care and attention it deserves when carving it up to serve. Our step-by-step images will help hone your knife skills.

    Mustard butter based turkey

    First, prepare your bird for roasting...

    Our most recent roast turkey recipe is mustard butter-basted and served with slices of bacon underneath the skin to keep the meat delicious and moist. Insert the rashers using our three easy steps: 

    Step 1
    Step 1:

    Carefully push your hand between the turkey breast and the skin to create a pocket. Spread the butter under the skin.



    Step 2: 

    Arrange the bacon in 2 rectangles of 6 overlapping rashers, then carefully push these under the skin.


    Step 3

    Step 3:

    Carry on feeding the bacon under the skin to lie flat and cover the breast, then smooth the skin back over.



    Cook your turkey according to the recipe, or try one of our other roast turkeys. Our foolproof turkey guide should help you with timings, plus print off our Christmas timeplan to help make your dinner schedule a breeze.

    Carving the turkey...

    Cutting the brown meat

    step 1
    Step one: 

    Cut through the skin that attaches the leg to the body. Ease the thigh outwards and cut through the joint to remove the leg and thigh.


    Step two
    Step two: 

    Cut through the drumstick and thigh until the knife hits the joint; twist the knife through it to separate the two.


    Step 3
    Step three: 

    You can now leave the drumsticks and thighs whole, or carve into slices – the easiest way is to hold a piece up and carve around it.




    Carving the breast: Method one - do this at the table for large slices

    Step 1
    Step one: 

    Make a deep cut across the bottom of each turkey breast.


    Step 2
    Step two:

    Starting at the neck end, cut long thin slices down the length of the bird.


    Step 3
    Step three:

    Keep going until you reach the breast bone. If you remove the wishbone when you get to it, you’ll keep carving neat slices.



    Carving the breast: Method two - do this in the kitchen for good portion control

    Step 2
    Step one: 

    Make a deep cut across the bottom as above then cut all the way down the top of the turkey, either side of the breast bone.


    Step 2
    Step two: 

    Cutting as close to the bone as possible, carve out the whole breast, pulling it away as you cut.


    Step three
    Step three:

    Curve the breast into thick-ish slices.



    Visit our Christmas dinner page for everything you'll ever need to pull off a fabulous festive feast, including ideas for trimmings, desserts and table settings. We also have a video guide on carving turkey. 


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