Professional Chef Mark Dommen reveals the correct way to carve a turkey. The type of knife and cutting method can affect everything from presentation to eating experience. Start with a sharp knife to keep from accidentally shredding the meat. The idea may seem like a no brainer, but how often do you remember to sharpen your cutlery?
Step two, take the bird out of the dining room and start carving in the kitchen. While this may remove the Norman Rockwell image of a father in a tie carving the bird at the table before his loving family, it also provides more room to work without the pressure of hungry eyes in waiting.
Step three, remove the stuffing before you start carving. This will give you more control over the bird and make the stuffing easier to serve.
Step three, have a carving plan. Poor planning can leave plates full of uneven or unappetizing looking slices with too much meat still clinging to the bones. Carving correctly will leave your guests with cuts of meat that look like they came out of a five star restaurant. His plan is legs first then removing the breast whole.
Step four, slice across the grain. This will help trap more juices and provide a better experience for your guests. Once the breast has been carved in this fashion, it can be “reassembled” for a nice presentation platter with the legs and thighs.
An added benefit to carving in advance is less clean up after the meal. The leftovers are already pre-sliced and all that’s left is a carcass which can be saved for stock or tossed in the trash.
Hopefully these professional tips will help make the best holiday for you and your family. Happy Thanksgiving!