Many people find carving the turkey a bit of a challenge. But there is a straightforward and efficient method. By first removing the whole breast, you can cut it into neat slices across the grain to get tender and even-shaped pieces of white meat. After that, remove the leg and cut off the dark meat in slices. We’ve adapted this method from the one used by Paul Kelly, preserver and producer of the famous Kelly Bronze Turkey (www.kellyturkeys.co.uk).
1 Cut between the legs and the breast to loosen the legs – this will make the next step easier.
2 & 3 Cut along one side of the breastbone, using small strokes to ease the meat away from the ribs. Cut down to the bottom of the breast, using your free hand on the carving fork to add to the downward pressure. Remove the whole breast and transfer to a carving board.
4 & 5 Repeat steps 2–4 with the other breast.
6 Cut off the legs, using a carving fork to ease the drumstick and thigh away from the carcass. Cut around the ‘oyster’ on the base of the bird. Remove the leg and place on the carving board. Repeat these steps with the other leg. Cut just above the wing where the wing is connected to the carcass. Turn the bird over, cut around the little mini ‘oyster’, where the wing joins the carcass – you can wiggle the bone around a bit to help you put your knife through the socket. Put the wing on the serving platter. Repeat with the other wing.
7 Slice the breasts, including the skin, across the grain. Put on a serving platter.
8 Cut between the drumstick and thigh on each leg to separate them.
9 Slice the dark meat off the thighs and drumsticks. Put on the serving platter.
Extracted from Lidgate’s The Meat Cookbook. Available here