Many otherwise confident cooks lose their nerve when serving a turkey at the table, uncertain how to carve their beautiful bird into serving pieces. However, mastering this skill is easy if you follow these easy steps. Just make sure that you have let the bird rest for 20 to 30 minutes after you remove it from the oven, and arm yourself with a sharp knife and large two-pronged fork to steady the bird. A knife with a flexible yet sturdy blade is best for following the turkey's contours.
Remove the legs
Place the turkey breast side up on a carving board with the legs facing you. Using a carving knife, cut through the skin between the breast and thigh. Locate the thigh joint and cut through it to remove the drumstick.
Carve the breasts
Leave the thighs and wings on the bird to stabilize it. Just above the thigh and wing, carve a deep horizontal cut through the breast to the bone to create a base cut.
Carve the breast from the bone
Beginning at the breastbone, make a series of cuts downward and parallel to the rib cage, carving the meat from one side of the breast in long, thin slices. Repeat steps 1 through 3 on the other side.
Or, slice the breast into medallions
You can also remove the breast from the bone by cutting down along the breastbone to meet the horizontal cut. Place the breast flat on a cutting surface and slice it crosswise to cut into medallions.
Remove the thighs and wings
Pry each thigh from the joint; then, use the knife to remove the thigh. Locate the joint between each wing and the breastbone and cut through the joints to remove the wings.
Transfer the meat to a platter
Arrange the turkey on a platter, placing the dark meat on one side and the sliced white breast meat on the other. Garnish with sprigs of fresh herbs if you'd like.