How to Carve a Turkey: Foolproof Instructions! | The Milton Moms

These helpful instructions were provided by dad of two Mike Geller, founder of Mike’s Organics in Stamford, CT.

The traditional image of The Thanksgiving Turkey being carved at the dinner table is very romantic, but it not practical, nor is it the best way to serve/carve your turkey. It should be done on a cutting board, with a very sharp knife, in the kitchen. If you would like all of the guests to see the bird, bring it out to the table for everyone to see/applaud/congratulate you/take pictures/wish they did Thanksgiving at your house every year, and then bring it into the kitchen to carve it. If you have a certain way you carve then stick with what works; if you need some help or want to try a different way, here are some instructions.

Dark Meat

  1. Pull the leg and thigh away from the body and find the joint that connects the bottom of the thigh to the body, sever the joint and remove the connected thigh and leg.
  2. Find the joint between the leg and thigh and cut.
  3. Hold the leg with the thick end down (like you’re holding the ankle), so it is perpendicular to the cutting board and cut straight down, paralleling the bone, to remove a large chunk of meat. Rotate the leg 90 degrees and repeat until the bone is cleaned.
  4. Put the pieces of meat that you have removed from the leg bone skin side up, and cut crossways at an angle, so you have nice even pieces of dark meat.
  5. Repeat for other side and arrange on the board
  6. Lay the thigh skin side down on the cutting board and steady it with your carving fork. Cut along both sides and under the bone to loosen it
  7. Hold the knife parallel to the board and slide it under the bone and cut along the bottom edge, pulling the bone as you cut, to remove.
  8. Flip the thigh so it is skin side up and cut crossways at an angle into thick slices.
  9. Repeat for other side and arrange on the board


  1. Pull the wing away from the body. Find the joint that connects the wing to the chest and sever.
  2. Arrange wing on the platter.
  3. Repeat for other side.

White Meat

  1. You will now have just the breast and rib cage of the turkey sitting before you.
  2. Steady the side of the breast that you are NOT carving with your carving fork.
  3. Make a thin slice along the breast bone of the turkey in the center of the breast, starting by the top of the breast and working your way straight down to the base of the cavity.
  4. Pull the side of the breast you have cut away from the carcass and using the tip of your knife, guide your knife along the breast bone and let it ride the rib cage right down to where you removed the wing from the body.
  5. Cut along that part of the breast until it is clear from the body, so you have removed one entire half of the breast from the turkey.
  6. Lay that half of the breast on the cutting board, skin side up, and slice at an angle crossways (across the breast, not with it) and arrange on cutting board.
  7. Repeat for other side of breast.

The Oysters

This might be the best part of the turkey! Their French name is le sot l’y laisse…..translation “Only an idiot would leave it there”. On the back of the bird, at the base of where the thighs met the body, you will find a small medallion of meat on each side. My advice if you are carving is to suddenly “forget” that they exist, and then when everyone is sitting down eating, sneak in with your plate and carve them out for yourself….this is considered a “Carving Tax” and is entirely legal in both Connecticut and New York, don’t know about New Jersey……or you can share them with your family…. if you’re an altruist J

If you would like to see a video of how to carve your turkey, check out this link which shows a good example:

ENJOY !!!!!!

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