Carving Roast Turkey or Chicken


Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Cook's Companion: A step-by-step guide to cooking skills including original recipes

The Cook's Companion

By Josceline Dimbleby

Published 1991

  • About

There is actually nothing difficult or mysterious about carving but a really sharp knife, ideally sharpened by a proper steel, is a must. Remember to cut across the grain of meat. This requires a little simple knowledge of anatomy and which way the meat fibres run. Cutting across the grain of meat shortens muscle fibres and means more tender meat. It is also worth remembering that white meat comes from the breast and dark meat from the rest of the body and the legs. Ideally you should serve a selection of both to your guests.

Don’t be tempted to carve too far ahead or you may lose valuable meat juice. It is better to serve good juicy slices freshly cut than to try and save a few minutes.

Turkey and chicken are carved in the same way, while ducks and geese require a slightly different technique because of their different body shapes.