Carving a Roast Turkey
Turkeys should be carefully trussed. The wings and
thighs should be brought close to the body and kept in position by
skewers. The ends of the drumsticks may be drawn into the body or
crossed over the tail and tied firmly.
After cooking, free the ends of the drumsticks
from the body and trim them with a paper ruffle. This will enable the
carver to touch them if necessary without soiling his hands. Place the
turkey on the platter with the head at the left. Unless the platter be
very large, provide an extra dish, also a fork for serving.
Insert the carving-fork across the middle of the
breast-bone. Cut through the skin between the breast and the thigh. Bend
the leg over, and cut off close to the body and through the joint. Cut
through the top of the shoulder down through the wing-joint. Shave off
the breast in thin slices, slanting from the front of the breast-bone
down toward the wing-joint.
If the family is small and the turkey is to be
served for a second dinner, carve only from the side nearest you. Tip
the bird over slightly, and with the point of the knife remove the
oyster and the small dark portion found on the side-bone. Then remove
the fork from the breast and divide the leg and wing. Cut through the
skin between the body and breast, and with a spoon remove a portion of
the stuffing. Serve light or dark meat and stuffing, as preferred. If
carved in this way, the turkey will be left with one half entire, and if
placed on a clean platter with the cut side nearest the carver, and
garnished with parsley, will present nearly as fine an appearance, to
all but the carver, as when first served.
When there are many to be served, take off the leg
and wing from each side and slice the whole of the breast before
removing the fork; then divide as required.
It is not often necessary to cut up the whole body
of the turkey; but where every scrap of the meat will be needed, or you
wish to exercise your skill, proceed to carve in this manner.
Put the fork in firmly across the middle of the
breast-bone. Cut through the skin between the leg and body. Bend the leg
over and cut off at the joint. If the turkey be very tender or
overcooked, the side-bone will separate from the back and come away with
the second joint, making it more difficult to separate the thigh from
the side-bone. Cut through the top of the shoulder and separate the wing
at the joint. Cut off the leg and wing from the other side. Carve the
breast on each side, in thin slices, slanting slightly toward the wing.
Be careful to take a portion of crisp outside with each slice. Shave off
the crisp skin near the neck, in order to reach the stuffing. Insert the
point of the knife at the front of the breast-bone, turn back the
wish-bone and separate it. Cut through the cartilage on each side,
separating the collar-bones from the breast. Tip the body slightly over
and slip the knife under the end of the shoulder-blade; turn it over
toward the wing. Repeat this process on the opposite side. Cut through
the cartilage which divides the ribs, separating the breast-bone from
the back. Lay the breast one side and remove the fork from it. Take the
stuffing from the back. Turn the back over, place the knife midway just
below the ribs, and with the fork lift up the tail end, separating the
back from the body. Place the fork in the middle of the backbone, and
cut close to the backbone from one end to the other, on each side,
freeing the side-bone. Then divide the legs and wings at the joints. The
joint in the leg is not quite in the middle of the bend, but a trifle
nearer the thigh. It requires some practice to strike these joints in
the right spot. Cut off the meat from each side of the bone in the
second joint and leg, as these when large are more than one person
requires, and it is inconvenient to have so large bones on one's plate.
It is easier to finish the carving before
beginning to serve. An expert carver will have the whole bird disjointed
and literally in pieces with a very few strokes of the knife.