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How to Carve a Turkey

Make easy work of serving your Thanksgiving dinner with these tips for how to carve a turkey.

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How to Carve a Turkey the Right Way

You’ve done it! You cooked the perfect turkey, had it out of the oven on time and even gave it some time to rest. Once that’s all done, you just need to carve the bird carefully so you can show it off on your holiday table along with all the fixings. We’ll walk you through how to carve a turkey step by step.

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Step 1

Step 1: Carve away the legs

Place bird on a carving board and remove any stuffing. Holding the end of the drumstick, pull the leg away from the body and cut between the thigh joint and body to remove the entire leg. Repeat with the other leg.

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 Step 2

Step 2: Separate the leg

To separate the drumstick and thigh, cut through the connecting joint.

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 Step 3

Step 3: Remove the meat

Holding the drumstick by the end, slice meat into 1/4-in. slices. Cut thigh meat parallel to the bone into 1/4-in. slices.

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 Step 4

Step 4: Begin cutting the breast

Hold the bird with a meat fork and make a deep cut into the breast meat just above the wing area.

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 Step 5

Step 5: Remove the breast

Slice down from the top of the breast into the cut made in Step 4. Slice meat 1/4 in. thick. Repeat steps 4 and 5 on other side of bird.

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 Step 6

Step 6: Remove the wings

To remove wings, cut through the connecting joints by the wing bones and backbone.

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Taste of Home

Step 7: Don’t Toss Those Bones!

A leftover carcass is the secret to the most delicious homemade soup. Homemade chicken stock has a velvety texture and full flavor that the canned stuff (let alone bouillon cubes) can’t touch. Collagen-rich and laced with vegetables and herbs, homemade is also healthy, whereas commercial stock is laden with preservatives and salt. Learn how to make it with tips from our Test Kitchen team.