Tips for Carving Whole Turkey
By: Chef Angelo Loria
Use a sharp Knife: You’ll have the best results with a carving set containing a long, thin-bladed carving knife (to make easy work of the slicing) and a two-pronged meat fork (to hold the bird steady and help with the actual serving). Be sure the knife is good and sharp—you may even want to plan ahead and have it professionally sharpened.
LET IT REST: After roasting, let the turkey rest on the serving platter for 30 to 45 minutes. The bird will not get cold during the rest period. However, the hot juices (which have been moving around inside the bird) will settle and soak back into the meat. Remember: don’t carve it too soon! You’ll want to retain as much juice as possible.
CARVE IN PRIVACY: Don’t feel that you have to carve the turkey at the table and let everyone admire your masterpiece. Then, duck into the kitchen and carve in privacy. In the meantime, you can ask the guests to start passing around the sides.
CARVE IT ALL: We find it much easier to carve up the entire bird instead of serving the old-fashioned way, one guest at a time. This makes it possible to separate the white and dark meat before serving (and allows for a better presentation). Cut the turkey into its major sections on the platter, and then do the actual carving on a wooden or plastic board, preferably with a well to contain the juices.
REMOVE THE STUFFING: If you’ve stuffed the turkey, scoop the stuffing into a serving bowl before carving. Cover the dish with its lid or aluminum foil to keep it warm.
A JUICY TIDBIT: Pour any carving juices from the board over the sliced meat. Then, ladle about half a cup of piping-hot turkey or chicken broth over the carved meat on the platter. Your turkey is now beautifully carved, steaming, juicy and ready to serve!