Expert Tips For Carving Your Turkey

Shutterstock / Bochkarev Photogr © Christmas dinner, carving the turkey

Paul Kelly of Kellybronze Turkeys guides us through the do’s and don’ts to help ensure your bird is cooked and served perfectly.

  • Always place your turkey breast down on the baking tray when you cook it. This is because the majority of fat deposits are in the back of the bird, so as it begins to cook – the fat renders down through the bird providing optimum flavour and keeping it moist.
  • Invest in a meat thermometer – it’s the only way to ensure your turkey is perfectly cooked. You should always check cooking times according to the size of your bird, and the thigh is the best part of the bird to check the temperature.
  • Don’t cover your turkey in foil once it’s out of the oven. The logic is that we don’t want it to get cold. However it means that it continues to cook the meat and is a big reason turkey gets a bad reputation for being ‘dry’ at Christmas. Just leave the bird to rest on the side for an hour after, and it will remain cooked to perfection.
  • For the best turkey crackling ever, remove all the skin as soon as you’ve carved the bird. It’ll now be much easier to peel the skin off the breast, legs and wings. And don’t forget the back of the bird (the triangular portion of flesh at the rear). Lay the skin out flat on a baking tray, season it with salt and pop it back in the oven at 180°C. It will take about 20-30min to get the most amazing turkey crackling – just don’t forget about it, as it will burn quickly!

Carving Tips from Paul Kelly of KellyBronze

  1. WINGS OFF FIRST. Hold the wing by the tip. Cut it at the midsection, then do the same to the other wing.
  2. LEGS OFF NEXT. Hold the leg by the end knuckle. Cut through the skin between the leg and the body and twist off, then do the same again to the other leg.
  3. BREAST MEAT OFF. Use the tip of the knife, cut along the breast bone (keep the knife close to the bone) until the breast is removed.
  4. PEEL OFF BOTH LEG AND BREAST SKIN. Place on a baking tray. Season and return to a hot oven for approx 10-15min until crisp – it’s delicious!
  5. SLICE IT UP. Slice up the breast meat and carve the leg off the bone.
  6. ENJOY! Pour over the reheated gravy juices from the bird. Allow time to soak up the juices before serving.