How to Properly Carve a Turkey

Thanksgiving Turkey

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it’s not too early to start prepping for the big day. We’re not saying you need to start cooking or anything, but there is one thing every man should know how to do whether he’s hosting the holiday or not. If you don’t yet know how to carve a turkey, you have come to the right place.

Carving a bird certainly isn’t rocket science, but it does take some practice and skill to get it right. So we brought in a expert to give us a step-by-step on how it’s done. Meet Marc Evan of Maniac Pumpkin Carvers, who also happens to be a master with turkeys. Created by Marc along with Chris Soria, Maniac Pumpkin Carvers is a full creative studio that specializes in elaborate pumpkin art, taking the carvings to a new level of creativity and skill. They keep their craft sustainable by using local pumpkins, and they can last two weeks or longer if taken care of properly.

Because Marc is a maestro with the knife, he gave us some pretty meticulous turkey carving instructions to share with you.

Following Halloween, we at Maniac Pumpkin Carvers make a quick transition towards our next favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. Whether its carving up some fall themed pumpkins or a perfectly cooked turkey, we are all about the giving of thanks and celebrating the harvest with our friends and family. Here are some tips for a perfectly carved turkey for your Thanksgiving dinner.

– Cook the turkey whole as per your favorite recipe or family tradition. (We like to rub plenty of garlic, herbs and butter under the skin and in the cavity). When your turkey is done (use a thermometer), we bring the whole roasting pan out to the table for some oohs and ahhs. Now that you’ve presented your gorgeous turkey, turn around and walk right back into the kitchen. The carving should be done behind the scenes with no pressure.

– Using a long thin knife, we first remove the breasts. Start by making an incision along either side of the breast bone. Continue slicing down, trying to follow along the rib cage, effectively separating the breast meat from the ribs. Now make another cut perpendicular towards the bottom of the breast, releasing it in one large piece. Loosely cover with foil, set aside, and repeat with the other breast.

– Next, wiggle each wing, leg and thigh at the joints to help loosen them. Slice through the joints of the wings and legs separating them from the carcass. Remove the thigh by cutting through the skin at the joint and then flipping the carcass so you can circle around and separate the meat where it attaches at the back. There are two small lobes of meat located on the back, at either side of the spine, near where the thigh attaches. These are the prized “oysters” and should be enjoyed by the chefs while preparing the serving platter. Keep it a secret. They are too good.

– Take the breasts and slice across the grain. We like wide, thinly cut slices, so make sure you have a long, sharp slicing knife. Arrange these on your serving platter. Using a cleaver or chef’s knife, you can slice the dark meat from the thighs and breast into smaller and thicker slices. Arrange these too on your platter, add some bunches of fresh aromatic herbs like parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme for garnish and bring your beautiful platter to the dinner table. Serve with plenty of gravy and loads of fixins for a perfect thanksgiving dinner!

To learn more about Maniac Pumpkin Carvers, visit them online at maniacpumpkincarvers.com. Image via Hungry Poodle