Reader Question: How to Carve Poultry


11 Dec Reader Question: How to Carve Poultry

Turkey_CarvingLast week, after I posted a no-carve recipe for Apple Roast Chicken, I learned I’m not the only one who dreads slicing up a bird in front of guests. With Christmas racing towards us, I thought I should cover this issue sooner rather than later.

However, words alone don’t do this sort of technique justice, and if I attempted the demonstration myself the resulting footage would look more like a Saturday Night Live send-up of Julia Child than an informative cooking video. So, I turned once again to the experts at Rouxbe Online Cooking School for assistance. Joe kindly provided not one but two videos to demonstrate this intimidating-but-easy-to-acquire skill.

The first, How to Carve Poultry, describes the basics. Follow these directions and you’ll have a lovely platter of perfectly carved meat. You need to watch this video (less than 3 minutes) to understand the second, which shows you how to carve a turkey — both at the table in front of drooling guests and in the privacy of the kitchen where you can load the platter for easier serving.

Either way, between these two videos you should be able to handle the Christmas goose, capon, chicken, turkey or duck. Having ham? You’re on your own.

How to Carve Poultry:

Rouxbe Online Cooking School & Video Recipes

How to Carve Turkey:

Rouxbe Online Cooking School & Video Recipes

Like what you see? As part of their affiliate program, I have the power to give you a free, full-access, no-videos-barred, one-week pass to their site. All you have to do is go to Rouxbe Online Cooking School and redeem the 7-day Gift Membership. You can enjoy all Rouxbe has to offer for a full 7 days, no strings attached.

And then? Your Gift Membership will silently morph into a Basic Membership, which means you can access the recipes but not the Cooking School videos. You’ll get no bothersome emails from Rouxbe begging you to upgrade or guilt-inducing pleas from me if you don’t.

Do you serve poultry at Christmas? If so, does the appointed carver do the bird justice or will you be sending them here for a few pointers?

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  • The Diva on a Diet
    Posted at 13:35h, 14 December Reply

    Diva’s trick for carving poultry = have the husband do it! 😉

    Kidding aside, the videos are wonderful. We almost always serve a roast turkey for Christmas and usually my mom or my husband carves. They both do a fine job.

    This year I’m lobbying for a crown roast of pork … as I still have a freezer full of turkey from Thanksgiving!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 12:54h, 15 December Reply

      Our Thanksgiving was way back in October so I’m open to poultry again — but I can see how you’d want a change of pace.

      I’d love lamb myself, but certain members of my family are not as open to this ideas as I’d like.

  • Cheryl@5secondrule
    Posted at 11:57h, 15 December Reply

    Oh my god, that chicken looks SO good! By the time they poured the sauce over it, I was already a believer.

    This video reinforced much of what I already knew intellectuall about carving, but seeing itgave me greater confidence, esp. about not trying to cut THROUGH the bones (which I often try, and fail) to do, but taking the time to find the natural break in the joints.

    I always make a huge mess.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 12:58h, 15 December Reply

      Good point about using the joint and not trying to hack through bone.

      I make a mess, too. The apple roast chicken appeals to my inner slob, but these videos will help me save face in front of company when the shred and toss approach isn’t appropriate.

  • Dana McCauley
    Posted at 09:50h, 16 December Reply

    I’m going to bookmark this post not only for my own use (my husband is our resident carver so I’m rusty) but also so that I can send other people to it when I get asked this question,too.


    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 11:34h, 16 December Reply

      Thanks, Dana. I hope your readers find them as useful as I did!

  • Cheryl@5secondrule
    Posted at 11:53h, 16 December Reply

    OK, I had to write back and tell you that I bought a whole organic chicken last night just to roast it and carve it. Seriously. I have a cookbook that finally showed me how to roast a perfect chicken with dark, crackily skin (I had a tendency not to get the skin crisp enough before), and then when I went to carve it, I had the Rouxbe lady’s voice in my head, and she talked me through each cut, and VOILA! A revelation! I found all the joints and was able to cut through them like butter. Like buddah!!! So thank you, Charmian, and Rouxbe, too. I wish I could share my chicken with you.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 13:11h, 16 December Reply

      Oh, Cheryl, if I lived closer I’d be over to your place in a flash! Of course, I’d bring the wine. Or dessert.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to report back on this. I’m thrilled to know the videos helped. Now, what’s this about perfectly roasted chicken?

    • Stephanie - Wasabimon
      Posted at 13:24h, 16 December Reply

      Ooooh – which cookbook did you get? My chicken is still lacking in the crisp department…

  • Cheryl@5secondrule
    Posted at 13:23h, 16 December Reply

    The secret, which is probably not a secret to most people but was to me, is to smoosh lots of butter and salt all over the chicken, and shove butter under the skin, but really, the deal is to cook the chicken on one side (thigh) for 30 minutes, then on the other side (thigh) for 30 minutes, then breast up for the last 20 or so minutes or until it’s done. (This is at 425 degrees.) The recipe is from Pim of Chez Pim and her new book. Before, I’d just cooked my chicken breast-up the whole time, but flipping it around really does help it cook much more evenly, and gets the skin crisp all over. Try it!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 10:26h, 17 December Reply

      I’ve never heard to this method before. Sounds logical. Thanks so much for sharing the technique and your source! I’ll have to give this a try next time I roast a chicken.

  • Stephanie - Wasabimon
    Posted at 13:25h, 16 December Reply

    I love carving chickens – or should I say, I love taking them apart with two whacks of a meat cleaver. I’m ok at precision carving, but this will definitely help in the future! I’m also sending them off to DH, who usually gets stuck with this responsibility.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 10:28h, 17 December Reply

      Two whacks of a meat cleaver? I’d like to see that. Do you need a splatter screen?

      Hope DH finds the videos useful!

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