It’s the climax of Christmas Day – and also the biggest cause of stress and the most likely reason for arguments with loved ones. Carving the Christmas turkey can turn what should be a joyful family meal into a war zone. This Christmas Irish families will cook and consume over 700,000 turkeys, yet very few of them will be carved in a stress or mess-free manner, that doesn’t waste your carefully prepared bird. Luckily Mark Treacy, Head Chef at The Abbey Hotel, Roscommon, winners of of the prestigious Restaurant Association Of Ireland Best Hotel Restaurant (Connaught) Award for 2014, is here with his top tips for perfectly carved turkey to make your Christmas one to remember.
Carving the perfect turkey, step-by-step
You’ve bought it, stuffed it, cooked it, and now you have to carve it. If you’re daunted by the task― and some of the best cooks are―just remember that carving a turkey comes down to simple technique. Mark said, “Carving the turkey is a major source of stress for a lot of families on Christmas Day, but it doesn’t have to be. Just follow my simple steps for a beautifully carved bird.
- After you bring your perfectly roasted turkey out of the oven, remove it from the roasting dish and let it rest for about 20 minutes on a clean carving board wrapped in some tin foil to ensure
- First remove the leg quarters. Cut through the skin between the leg quarter and the breast and cut through the joint between the thigh and backbone to separate.
- Keep the wings tucked under for stability
- Separate the leg and the thigh by finding the joint between the thigh and drumstick and chop through it
- Remove both sides of the breast by cutting parallel to the breastbone and staying close to the bone
- Carve the breast crosswise against the grain allowing for thicker slices which are juicier
- Save the entire leg for your Henry VIII guest
Christmas Traditions: History of Turkey
- Before turkey took over, the popular Christmas dishes were goose and cockerel or, in the houses of the rich, peacock and swan. The turkey was introduced into Europe from the New World in the 15th and 16th Centuries and, because it was inexpensive and quick to fatten, it soon rose in popularity as a Christmas feast food.