BOSTON (CBS) – On Thanksgiving, millions of turkeys will be stuffed and roasted, but the real challenge for a lot of people comes when it’s time to carve the bird. After all that work, you want it to look beautiful on the platter. Well, Lisa Hughes got a carving lesson from an expert who says there’s one key step before you ever pick up the knife.
We went to Empire Asian Restaurant on Northern Ave. on South Boston’s new waterfront. Executive Chef Kevin Long cooked a 15 pound turkey, but before carving he let it rest.
“At least 30 minutes, but it can rest longer. You don’t want it to get cold. It relaxes the meat. It’s going to be more tender,” he says.
A lot of people like to start carving at the drumsticks, but Chef Long prefers to start on the breast.
“I’m going to go right in on the breast bone, to one side of it. And you can just kind of feel your way through,” he says.
He then pulls off the entire breast and cuts it into small slices against the grain.
From there, he arranges the slices on his serving platter and goes after the drumstick and thigh.
“I’m going to keep the drummie and that’s going to go right on the plate because some people love that,” he says.
The thigh gets the same against the grain slicing treatment as the breast.
The key here is to use a sharp knife. Chef Long says most knives in most kitchens are just not sharp enough. He also advises not carving the turkey at the table.
“It looks great in the movies, but you’re doing surgery here,” he says.
Long says one of the biggest mistakes people make is under-seasoning the bird. He strongly suggests “brining” the turkey before cooking so it soaks in the flavor.