You may already know the perfect way to season and stuff your turkey for Thanksgiving. But one of the worst things ever is watching someone pull that beautiful glistening bird out of the oven only to completely butcher it into small sad little pieces. Such a bummer.
It’s getting down to the wire, so we figured we would get some advice from a professional on how to properly carve your turkey this year. We spoke with Chef (and overall badass) Paul Gerard, of Hoboken, New Jersey’s Antique Bar & Bakery, to see if he could let us in on the secret.
But before you begin, here's a list of supplies that you will need...
1. Boning Knife
2. Slicing Knife
3. Carving Fork
4. Cutting Board
Got everything? Okay great. Now it’s time to get down to business...
After you take the bird out of the oven, Gerard suggests that you remove it from its pan and put it onto your cutting board (“preferably with divots to catch any juice that may leak out from the turkey”) immediately. That way, the turkey won't continue to cook on the blazing hot pan causing it to dry out. Let it sit for “around half an hour” so that its juices can settle into the meat.
Once it has had time to rest, use your boning knife to take off the wings and drumsticks by slicing right along where they connect. After you have taken them off, it’s time to go for the part that most people screw up. The breast meat.
To slice up the breast meat like a pro, Gerard suggests taking your boning knife and cutting along the line of the breastbone straight “down to the bone”. Make sure your cuts deep enough to cut the entire breast off of the turkey. This may be a pretty labor-intensive task, so make sure you use your carving fork to stabilize the turkey while you make your cuts.
After you have removed each breast, place them on the cutting board and cut them into big clean pieces with your slicing knife. “It will give you big beautiful chunks of meat,” says Gerard, “instead of making it look like it was gnawed at by the paws of a raccoon.”
Once you are looking at a big beautiful pile of juicy meat and a vanquished turkey carcass, you will know that your job is done!
So follow these easy steps to carving a turkey and hold your head up high this Thanksgiving!
If you aren’t planning to cook for Thanksgiving this year and are in the Hoboken, NJ area, make sure to head over to Antique Bar & Bakery. Gerard and his staff will be cooking up a huge buffet style feast in their "century old 30 ton, 400 square foot, 1000 degree COAL-FIRED OVEN". A percentage of the evening will be donated to the local Boys & Girls club. Dinner will be served at 3pm with bands playing and booze flowing for the rest of the night.