How to Carve a Turkey
Put your knife skills to work and make the most out of your turkey.
Don't be intimidated by carving a turkey. All you need is a sharp knife and these simple tips. You can also use the same method to carve a chicken.
Gather Your Supplies
You'll need: A whole-roasted turkey, a cutting board, a kitchen towel, a sharp non-serrated knife and a carving fork or tongs.
Carve the Legs
If the turkey is fresh from the oven, let it rest for 20 minutes, then remove any string and stuffing from the bird. Place a kitchen towel on top of your cutting board to stop the turky from sliding around. Place your turkey breast-side up on top of the cutting board with the legs facing away from you.
Gently pull one turkey leg away from the body with your hand until the ball joint pops out of the socket. Cut through the joint using your carving knife and remove the leg from the turkey. Repeat with the other leg.
Detach the Thighs
Place the leg on a carving board. Feel for the joint that connects the drumstick bone and the thigh bone and cut down through the joint. Repeat with the other leg.
Remove the Thigh Bone
Lay the thigh on a cutting board skin-side down. Take out the bone by cutting along the sides of and underneath the bone with the tip of a knife. Grasp the bone with your fingers and twist to pull it away from the meat. Repeat with the other thigh.
Carve the Breast
Using a carving knife, slice along the side of the breastbone and rib cage, gently pulling the breast away from the rib cage with a fork as you slice. Cut down through the bottom of the breast and remove it. Repeat with the other breast.
Remove the Wings
With your hand, grasp the wing and gently pull it away from the body. Feel for the socket joint with your fingers. Cut completely through the joint and separate the wing from the turkey. Repeat with the other wing.
Cut the Breast & Serve
Slice the thigh and breast meat with a carving knife against the grain into thin, uniform slices. Enjoy!
Want to see it done? Watch our turkey carving video.
Find more helpful How-Tos here »
• How to Roast a Turkey »
• How to Make Make Turkey Stock »
• Bonus How-To Video: Knife Techniques »