AFTER YOU'VE DECIDED WHETHER TO ROAST, GRILL OR deep-fry your turkey and settled the question of to-brine or not-to-brine, it seems that carving the bird should be a straightforward project.
But there are different ways to go about this last step of serving Thanksgiving's anchor dish. Do you try to impress your guests (but risk making a mess) by carving at the table, or retire to the kitchen for carving after briefly presenting the whole turkey? Will you make long, whisper-thin slices of breast meat or thicker, shorter medallions, each with a bit of skin?
Greg Wentz, a chef instructor at Baltimore International College, showed us his method. He prefers to neatly divide the bird first down the middle, which makes it easier to slice the breast horizontally. At the table, he presents several platters with different kinds of meat.
Depending on the number of guests and whether any of them likes the drumstick, you can leave the drumstick whole or slice it.
Here are more tips for carving your turkey from Baltimore International College chef instructor Greg Wentz:
l Have two knives ready: a boning knife to separate pieces and a slicing knife with a straight edge (or an electric carving knife) for thin slices.
l Before you pick up your knife, let the bird rest at least 15 minutes so it will retain its juices.
l Carve with the skin on and leave a little on each piece; diners can choose whether they want it or not.
l Cutting across the grain keeps your slices tender.