How to carve a turkey

Learn how to get the most out of your Christmas turkey with our
step-by-step carving tips. Before cooking, remove the wishbone to make carving easier. Once your roast turkey is well rested, follow the steps below.

Step 1 - remove the legs

1. Remove the legs

Place your roasted turkey, breast-side up, on a board and remove the string tying the legs together. Using a sharp knife, cut through the skin that connects the leg and breast, slicing down until you reach the joint. Bend the thigh outwards, then slice through the joint to remove the leg. Repeat with the other leg.

Step 3 - carve the breast

3. Carve slices from the crown

There are two ways to carve the breast. The classic way is to carve slices from the carcass. Make a horizontal cut below the breast towards the breastbone to allow the slices to come off easily. Cut slices to your desired thickness from the breast top and down to meet your horizontal cut. Repeat with the other breast.

Step 2 - remove the drumsticks and thighs

2. Remove the drumsticks and thighs

Take one leg and place it skin-side up on the board. Cut through the knee joint to separate the thigh and drumstick, gently loosening it as you go. The thighs can be carved or served whole like the drumsticks. Repeat with the other leg and set aside, then cut through the shoulder joints to remove the wings.

Step 4

4. Remove the breasts and slice

Alternatively, you can take the whole breast off first. Make a horizontal cut beneath the breast, then make a long cut down the side of the breastbone to carve out the whole breast, gently pulling it away as you go. Place the breast skin-side up on a board and slice as required. Repeat with the other breast.

Image credit: Enya Todd IllustrationX Waitrose Weekend


For turkey recipes and festive cooking ideas visit our Christmas recipe collection