How to carve a turkey

Learn how to carve a turkey for your Christmas dinner guests. There are two methods for carving turkey breast that you can apply to a turkey crown as well. 

Points to remember

  1. To remove the leg from the carcass, loosen it a little at the thigh socket with your hands, then carve into the natural joint – cutting through the socket of the bone.
  2. To split the drumstick and the thigh, again loosen then carve into the socket of the bone.
  3. To cut the breast meat, cut off the wing tip then make a horizontal incision underneath the breast towards the body of the bird.
  4. Using a fork, carve slices of meat from the breast.
  5. Repeat the process on the other side.
  6. Alternatively, remove the breast altogether by making a horizontal incision under the breast, then cutting off the meat in one piece.
  7. Put the breast on the chopping board, then cut across the breast. This is an easier way as it goes along the grain of the meat and gives a smooth slice.
  8. Remove the wings in the same way as the leg, cutting through the socket where it attaches to the carcass.
  9. Place the carved meat on a serving plate.

How to carve turkey breast

Carving a turkey crown is easier than carving a whole turkey, with fewer joints to work around. To ensure clean cuts of breast meat, follow one of these methods:

Method one

  1. Make a deep cut to the breast bone, crossways, beneath each breast. 
  2. Starting at the neck end, cut long thin slices down the length of the bird.
  3. Keep going until you reach the breast bone. If you remove the wishbone, you'll be able to keep carving neat slices beyond this point.

Method two

Doing it this way is good for portion control.

  1. Make a deep cut, crossways, beneath each breast, then cut all the way down into the turkey, either side of the breast bone. 
  2. Cutting as close to the bone as possible, carve out the whole breast, pulling it away as you move the knife.
  3. Carve the breast into thick-ish slices.

More advice on cooking turkey:

How to cook a turkey 
Best ever turkey recipes 
How to cook a turkey crown