Carve a Turkey – Dark Meat

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 43,647
    Chef Daniel Traster demonstrates how to carve a turkey including carving the dark meat.

    Daniel Traster: I am Daniel Traster, and I am here to demonstrate for you how to carve a turkey. What I am going to do now is show you how to carve the dark meat off the turkey. We are going to begin by working off of the one side here. We make a small cut in the skin to get through to separate the dark meat, the leg and the thigh from the rest of the carcass. You can actually pull the leg down with your hands to create some space for you to work. Put your knife in to reach where the knuckle is. Let me show that to you right here. As you pull down, you will see the knuckle comes right out when we will cut turkey. So you can put your knife right through and separate that meat from the turkey, then pull it away very easily. You will often have a little bit of dark meat that gets stuck to the carcass, and you can pull that away very simply and use it on your plate. This is often called the oyster.

    Of course, you are going to repeat this with the second leg but for the purposes of this demonstration let's work with one at the time. We want to separate the drumstick from the thigh, and again there is a knuckle keeping them together. So you are going to make a small cut, so you can find that knuckle, and then put your knife right in between to separate the joint. Now you have the thigh and the drumstick. The bone on a cooked thigh should pull away very easily from the meat, if it does stick a little bit, take you knife and run it down the side of the bone to pull away any meat, so the meat all stays together. Then you just pull the bone out holding the meat flat, and cut away anything that sticks. You now have a boneless thigh which you can slice across the grain. The grain, the fibers of the meat run in a certain direction; cutting across them will help to make it tender. So you can slice your meat, again across the grain into thick or thin slices, and this is ready to be placed on our serving plate. We will move it to the side for now. For a drumstick, very simply we are going to hold it in an angle, and take our knife, and slice down to create slices of meat off the drumstick. Turning and rotating the drumstick to make sure we get all of the meat off. Again it goes very, very quickly. Once we have gotten all of the meat off, and there will be a few tendons that are left on the meat. We are ready to transfer all of the dark meat, thigh and drumstick to the serving platter. So just take your knife, slide it underneath the meat, and move it over to your serving platter. These will give you nice tender pieces of dark meat. Next, we are going to work on how to carve the wings.