How to Carve a Turkey
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How to Carve a Turkey

H-E-B Chef Brent shows how to effortlessly carve and plate a turkey for your holiday meal. He shares tips to cook the juiciest turkey and has the perfect Texas cranberry jalapeño relish recipe to pair with your turkey.
To carve and plate a turkey you will need the following items, available at H-E-B:
  • large plastic cutting board
  • long bladed carving knife or serrated edge knife
  • carving fork (optional)
  • tongs (optional)
  • oven-safe serving platter

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1: Let the cooked turkey rest

To ensure a juicy turkey, H-E-B Chef Brent recommends safely cooking the turkey and allowing sufficient time for the bird to rest.

Check the temperature by inserting the thermometer into the thickest part of the turkey; it's safely cooked when it reads 165°F. Remove the turkey from the oven and place on a cutting board, then tent with aluminum foil for 15-20 minutes. This will allow the juices to redistribute, making the bird as juicy as possible.

Tip: Calculate the rest time into your prep time, so you know when the meal will be ready to serve.

While your turkey rests, place your oven-safe platter in the oven at 200 °F. This will help keep your turkey warm after carving.

Step 2: Carve the turkey

After the turkey has rested, remove the aluminum foil and you're ready to carve.

Step 2a: Drumsticks

Start with the leg portion. Use your hands to pop the drumstick forward. Then take your knife and cut between the bones to slice the drumstick from the turkey. Set aside and repeat the process on the other side of the turkey.

Step 2b: Turkey breast

Instead of slicing the turkey breast while attached to the bird, H-E-B Chef Brent takes half the breast off the bone. To do this, find the center line of the breast and cut straight down, then use your hand to pull the breast while continuing to cut away from the bone with the other hand. Set aside the turkey breast.

Step 2c: Wings

Next, remove the wing by popping it forward and then use the knife to cut loose. Set the wing aside and repeat the process on the other side of the turkey.

Step 2d: Thighs

The thigh is connected to the backbone. Use your hand to break the thigh loose, then cut with a knife from the backbone and set aside.

Step 3: Slice carved turkey

First, remove any skin from the turkey breast and thighs. Then, use a knife to slice across the grain of the turkey breast. Use a back-and-forth motion to cut the slices thin and even.

Tip: Use tongs while slicing the turkey meat to make sure you don't cut your hand.

Next, hold the thigh in one hand and use the knife in the other hand to slice the top portions of meat from the thigh. Once you start hitting the bones, pull the rest of the turkey meat pieces loose.

Leave the wings and drumsticks intact.

Step 4: Plate the turkey

Using an oven mitt, carefully remove your serving platter from the oven and place on the counter.

Begin plating the meat with the turkey breast slices, and then add the dark meat from the thigh, wings and the two drumsticks.

Step 5: Garnish the turkey

Add Texas flair by plating with cranberry jalapeño relish.
H-E-B Chef Brent recommends garnishing with fresh cranberries, sliced jalapeños and orange wedges—the same ingredients used in the relish.
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