Carving a Roasted Bird

To carve poultry with confidence, use a sharp knife and follow these directions.

Watch as we carve a turkey for Thanksgiving or another special dinner. We help you separate the light meat from the dark meat so you get the most out of your holiday bird.

1. When the bird is done roasting, remove it from the oven and cover it with foil. Let it stand for 15 to 20 minutes before carving. Standing allows the bird's flesh to firm up, which helps the carved slices hold together.

2. Place the bird on a cutting board. Remove the stuffing. Grasp the tip of one drumstick and pull it away from the body. Cut through the skin and meat between the thigh and the body. Repeat on the other side.

3. With the tip of the knife, separate the thighbone from the backbone by cutting through the joint. Repeat on the other side.

4. To separate the thighs and drumsticks, cut through the joints where the drumstick bones and thighbones meet.

5. To carve the meat from the drumsticks, hold each drumstick vertically by the tip with the large end resting on the cutting board. Slice the meat parallel to the bone and under some tendons, turning the leg to get even slices. Slice the thigh meat the same way.

6. To carve breast meat, make a deep horizontal cut into the breast above each wing. This cut marks the end of each breast-meat slice. Beginning at the outer top edge of each breast, cut the slices from the top down to the horizontal cut. Cut the final smaller slices following the curve of the breastbone.

7. Remove wings by cutting through the joints where the wing bones and backbone meet.


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