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Old 11-09-2012, 02:01 AM   #1
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Best Way to Carve & Serve a Turkey

The last time I carved a turkey it was a disaster. I used a serrated bread knife. I know...what was I thinking. It almost looked ripped and torn by hand. But what IS the best knife to use? Do people use electric knives anymore? And aren't they serrated?

And when and where is the best time to carve the turkey? On the table while all the other side dishes are getting cold? In the kitchen beforehand when no one gets to see that perfectly golden brown whole turkey presentation? What's the best way to carve and serve without losing the Wow Factor?

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Old 11-09-2012, 02:30 AM   #2
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IMO, leave the bird whole until you get to the table. present. get your ohhhs and ahhhs. Once things are ready for business. Carve off the legs and thighs, trim the wings, make a deep cut along the bottom of what is essentially the back bone, and then from the top plunge the knife along the breast bone, let the knife then follow the breast bone, cutting a distinct lobe. Repeat on the other side. From there, you can slice nice cuts of white meat, uniform cuts, and serve accordingly.

For Dark meat, if you know your way around a chicken, then think of the turkey as a big ass chicken. There is really nothing to it with the dark meat.

If you can break down a chicken, you can break down a turkey.

if you want to make it classy... leave the bird whole, run a long slice along the back(the bottom), and slice from the top(of the breast plate)down to the bottom, hoping for a single slice. But, remember you are then going with the grain, and it will be a little more dry, and more tough.

Use a straight edge knife! A serrated knife is a saw, not a slicer. Slice the bird when and where it is comfortable with you.

If you want a showpiece, do as mentioned. Present it. Stuff the cavity with a bouquet of herbs and other stuff no one will eat, but it looks good.

unless you REALLY know how to carve a bird, don't worry about the "wow" factor. I understand you are trying to be the best host in the world, but do it, and do it how you are comfortable. If you want to present a whole bird, and have it carved properly, then you need to bank on feeding everyone, or hoping that they know how to carve a bird too. Keep it simple. there is enough stress on Thanksgiving.



What the video doesn't show: if you carve along the bottom, it gives a cut for the breast slices to fall from. Just makes for a cleaner cut.
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Old 11-09-2012, 02:37 PM   #3
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Thank you TATTRAT! I'm going to follow this carving plan with a straight-edge knife, to a tee . I like how you say to present the bird whole for the guests until all the oohs and awws are are over and then the video says to take it back to the kitchen to carve it up. I've never done it in the kitchen...carving a turkey that is. I would just have to be very quick about it so I'm not away from the table very long. Maybe I'll tell the guests to fill their plates with the sides while I carve and hopefully I'm finished while everything is still warm. Okay, this is the plan maybe....

1. Present all foods, whole Turkey and sides, to the table
2. ooohs, awwws
3. Prayer
4. Tell guests to pass around the dishes and to go ahead and start eating while I carve up the turkey in the kitchen.
5. I'll ask one of the men to carry it to the kitchen for me...I think they're all clueless when it comes to carving a Turkey.
6. I'll carve up two platters of Turkey so they go around the table faster (I usually have a large crowd but only 10 this year

The trick is, I need to complete at least one platter in less than 3 minutes so the guests can enjoy it WITH their meal and with their hostess...well the guy in the video did it in 3 minutes with ease
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Old 11-09-2012, 02:57 PM   #4
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Like you said, make your presentation and head back to the kitchen to cut it up. Forget about "carving". In the kitchen, you have just removed the stress factor. No audience to impress. Slice the meat off the legs. And slice the breast after you have removed it from the carcass. And you are right about men and carving. They haven't a clue.
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Old 11-09-2012, 03:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Addie View Post
...And you are right about men and carving. They haven't a clue.
lol...well wait, I was just talking about the men at my particular thanksgiving table. Not ALL men. Don't get me in trouble with TATTRAT...after all...I have complete respect for a guy with 2 fried eggs on his face (avatar)
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Old 11-09-2012, 03:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mollyanne View Post
lol...well wait, I was just talking about the men at my particular thanksgiving table. Not ALL men. Don't get me in trouble with TATTRAT...after all...I have complete respect for a guy with 2 fried eggs on his face (avatar)
I watched for years as my father massacred chickens and turkeys. Then two husbands, and now my SIL. Just give me the dang bird. If you want a lesson, follow me out to the kitchen and I will teach you. My second husband could filet a 20 pound haddock in seconds. But to carve a bird was a lost cause.
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