Gallery: How to Carve a Turkey

Start with a turkey
Start with a turkey
To carve a turkey, you'll need to start with a turkey. There's one step that takes place before you roast it, so start with it RAW.
Locate the wish bone
Locate the wish bone
Pull back the skin flap around the neck and you'll locate the wish bone—the small y-shaped bone that runs along the top of both breast halves.
Scalpel, please
Scalpel, please
Make the first incision along the outside edge of one branch of the Y.
Other side
Other side
Then repeat that cut on the other side of the same branch. Then repeat those two cuts on the other side. Finally, make a small horizontal incision at the very top of the bone where the two branches meet.
Pry away
Pry away
Grab the top of the bone with your finger, and pry it forward. It should come away with little effort. If it's stuck, use the tip of a sharp boning knife to cut away stubborn spots.
Ready to Roast
Ready to Roast
With the wishbone removed, your turkey is ready to roast. Check out our Turkey Talk page for all the recipes you need.
Roasted and Ready
Roasted and Ready
Alright, Señor Gobbles. Time for your surgery.
First cut
First cut
Start by cutting the skin between the leg and the breast with a sharp chef's or boning knife, using a kitchen towel to hold the turkey in place with your free hand.
Get the joint
Get the joint
Once the skin is cut, pull the entire leg away from the body. It should separate quite easily, displaying the socket joint where the thigh meets the hip. Cut through this joint with the tip of your knife and the leg should be completely free. Just slice through the skin to release it.
Amputated
Amputated
Isn't it frightening how easy it is to remove a limb? You now have a whole leg in front of you, alongside a disabled turkey.
Divide the drumstick
Divide the drumstick
Locate the joint between the drumstick and the thigh by moving them back and forth and feeling with your fingertip. Slice through this joint.
Legless
Legless
Repeat with the other leg.
Thigh bone
Thigh bone
Flip one thigh over and cut along one side of the thigh bone to release a large chunk of meat.
Other side
Other side
Repeat with the other side of the thigh bone.
Slice
Slice
Slice the thigh meat into 1/2-inch pieces and transfer to a warm platter. Repeat with the other thigh. Add the drumsticks to the platter.
Clip its wings
Clip its wings
Locate the wing joint by articulating it, then slice through with a sharp chef's knife. Repeat with the other wing, then separate the drumette from the flats and transfer all four wing pieces to the platter.
Slice into the breast
Slice into the breast
Slice into the breast on one side of the breast bone with a sharp boning knife.
Work it down
Work it down
Continue slicing, following the contour of the breast bone with the tip of the knife to remove as much meat as possible.
Pull it away
Pull it away
As you continue to work, the breast meat should being to pull away from the bone. Help it along with the side of your knife until it's completely separated.
Keep 'em separated
Keep 'em separated
Once the breast falls away from the bone, cut through the bottom edge to completely separate it.
Repeat
Repeat
Repeat with the other side. You should now have all of the meat removed. Save the carcass for soup, if desired.
Slice the breast
Slice the breast
Slice the breast meat with a sharp knife at a bias. Tranfer to the warm platter.
Carved!
Carved!
And here's your turkey, ready to present to the table.