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Nov 22, 2012 06:20 AM

Carving the turkey breast meat on the turkey tip of the day

Position the turkey with the front facing away from you. Remove both wings. Hold the bird firmly with your left hand on top of the bird. Now with whatever very sharp knife that's suitable. (I use my chinese cleaver) make a series of HORIZONTAL cuts about 5/16" depending on how thick you want the slices starting at the lowest part of the breast through the breast meat until you feel the blade making contact with the breast bone. Don't remove any slices until you cut the whole breast this way. By making these horizontal slices you are cutting against the grain so the slices won't be stringy. You must keep the blade as horizontal as you can. When you've sliced the entire breast all the slices will still be attached to the breast bone if you've done it right. Now carefully with a small sharp knife just cut the slices away from the breast bone. You'll now have a stack of beautifully carved slices ready to serve. I'm attaching a diagram to see if it helps demonstrate this method better than my long winded post.

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  1. That is how my father taught me in the sixties. It is excellent.

    6 Replies
    1. re: magiesmom

      Got you beat! My mother taught it to me in the 'fifties' LOL Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone.

      1. re: Puffin3

        I guess it is standing the test of time!

        Always glad to meet someone even older than I!
        Have a great day of gratitude.

        1. re: magiesmom

          Last year at some friends I carved the turkey this way. There was a trained professional chef watching me. He had never seen it done this way. He was scratching his head asking why in three years at school no one had shown this him this method.

          1. re: Puffin3

            Because a horizontal cut slices more with the grain. A vertical cut slices across the grain.

              1. re: magiesmom

                Stringy meat slices. The term *Hotel Breast* was coined for removing part of the back of the turkey, so it could sit on itself flat and secure, when presented at a carving station for Banquets....You are taught to slice from the breastbone down following the contour of the ribcage and wishbone from the front... Cutting across the grain of the natural muscle fibers so the slice does not fall apart. It's another reason why many will suggest you remove the entire breast first...because you can slice the white meat as thick or thin as you like without it falling apart....slide your knife under the breast and transfer perfect slices to the platter and ultimately to the table.

    2. great idea! Will try it on half a bird

        1. Thank you... bird will be out of the oven shortly and I will test this out.

          2 Replies
          1. re: iluvcookies

            I tried it and it was OK, I guess I need more practice. The slices were a little small.

            1. re: iluvcookies

              depends on the size of the turkey. You can of course remove the breasts as mentioned and cut them on a cutting board. The method I described is more for when you are 'carving' the bird at the dining table.

          2. Remove the entire breast piece on each side, then slice crosswise on a cutting board. Simple.

            3 Replies
            1. re: greygarious

              So how did your over done turkey breasts turn out?

              1. re: Puffin3

                What on earth are you referring to?

              2. re: greygarious

                This is how I serve the breasts from my 5-hour duck, as I did yesterday. Fan the slices out, a little orange sauce, so purty, crispy skin served on top of the moist oyster-chestnut dressing to compensate for lack of gravy with duck. No major screw-ups this year, which is unusual for me.