Kitchen Tips

How to carve a roasted turkey

Whether it's for Christmas lunch, or just a Sunday night dinner with the family, it's important to know how to correctly carve your roasted turkey to make sure you're getting the best cuts of meat.

Before you start...

Allow the hot turkey to rest, covered, for at least 20 minutes before carving so the juices settle. Remove any skewers or string if you trussed the bird.

Wings, legs and thighs

To remove the wing, hold the free part with one hand and gently pull it away from the body. Cut down between the wing and the breast until you reach the shoulder joint, then cut through the joint, not the bone, and pull the wing away from the bird.
Use a carving fork to steady the turkey; cut the skin between thigh and breast. Using a carving knife as an aid, press the thigh outward to find the hip joint. Hold the drumstick and gently pull it away from the body, at the same time cutting downwards between the leg and the body until you come to the joint that connects the leg to the body. Cut through the joint, not the bone, to separate the two pieces.


Holding the turkey with the carving fork, carve across the breast at the top. If you prefer, you can cut thin slices of meat from the entire length of the breast; first, make a horizontal cut through the breast at the bottom of the bird then, carving parallel to the breastbone, slice diagonally down through the meat until you come to the horizontal cut. Continue until you have carved all the meat on one side. The breast meat should simply fall away in nice, even pieces.
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