A perfectly carved turkey makes for a beautiful presentation at Thanksgiving dinner. The breasts are pre-sliced and laid out nicely, the dark meat is sliced and placed in the center of the platter and it’s all topped with every dad and little brother’s favorite: turkey legs. Unfortunately, achieving the perfect carve is not always easy. We’ve created a guide to get you started using our heritage electric knife products that allow for a perfect cut with little effort.
After your turkey has rested for 20-30 minutes, cut the string you used to truss the turkey. (For more info on trussing a turkey, tune in to the blog tomorrow.) Make sure the turkey is sitting on a large cutting board, with another cutting board and a platter nearby.
Next, use a carving fork to stabilize the bird on a cutting board. If you need more stabilization to get a good cut, set the turkey on a kitchen towel. Remove the leg quarters first. Use the electric knife to cut the skin between the leg and the breast, exposing the ball joint. Start with gentle cuts so you can see where you are going.
When you get halfway to the bone, pull the leg down and cut straight through the joint, removing the leg and thigh. Do this for both sides and place the quarters on the spare cutting board.
Follow this same basic procedure to remove the wings and set them aside on the cutting board with the legs.
Now you can begin to separate the breast meat. Find the breastbone, and carefully cut down along the ribcage to remove the breast from the turkey. As you get toward the bottom, you can then slice up the bottom at an angle, making it easier to remove.
Follow on both sides and set the breasts aside. You can now toss the carcass or save it for a delicious homemade stock. You can also use the wings for the stock, as many people prefer not to serve them on their Thanksgiving platters.
Now, it’s time to start slicing and plating your turkey. Start with the breasts, carefully slicing the meat down with the electric knife and then pulling it out. You should avoid sawing the meat; it’s not necessary with an electric knife. To place the sliced breast on the platter, carefully put the knife, a fork or a spatula under the breast and carry it to the platter. Gently slide the breast off, and it should all stay together.
Next, cut the thighs. Take one thigh at a time from the secondary cutting board and separate the leg at the joint. Place the leg aside if you want to serve them whole. If you’d rather cut that meat, too, use the same basic technique as the thigh, but be careful to remove all the bones and cartilage first.
Lay the thigh skin-side down on the cutting board. Using your fingers or a paring knife, carefully remove the bone from the center. Feel around with your fingers to make sure there is no lingering cartilage.
Roll the thigh up and cut it into slices with the skin side up. Carefully transfer them to the platter.
To plate our turkey, we put the breasts on the sides, the thigh meat down the center and the drumsticks on top. The turkey carcass and the wings will be used for stock, and this perfectly carved masterpiece is ready for the holiday table.
Hamilton Beach® Electric Knives feature two serrated stainless-steel blades that rapidly move back and forth to create even slices of any thickness. Whether you’re carving the Thanksgiving turkey or slicing ham and cheese for sandwiches, these knives let you slice like a pro with little effort.
Hamilton Beach® Roaster Ovens are handy for cooking at home or feeding larger groups of friends and family. These popular roaster ovens bake, roast and cook like traditional ovens, and you can use them to steam and slow-cook as well. Innovation is evident in the buffet-friendly lid; it’s the first one to pivot out of the way for serving.