There are two reasons to rest your turkey for at least 20 minutes before serving. It allows the juices to well up in the turkey, making it juicier. It also cools the surface so that you don’t burn your fingers while carving; and it gives you an opportunity to have a glass of wine. Ok, that’s three reasons.
Take your sharp knife and cut the area between the thigh and the breast. Push down with the hand that is not doing the cutting and thigh should separate easily. Cut the joint between the thigh and the drum and separate them. Don’t try to carve the drumstick, just have Uncle Dean gnaw on it. Worry the bone out of the thigh with your knife and fingers and carve the thigh.
Now, make one long incision in the turkey from just above the wing (leave the wing right where it is, as it helps stabilize the bird) all the way back to where the thigh used to be. This incision is made parallel to the table; just cut straight in. Next, go to the top of the breast and start at the outside and cut straight down to the first incision. The slices should fall right off. These slices should be just a little over a quarter inch thick. Serve all of these slices from a deep dish with a lot of very warm (not boiling) turkey broth.
Of course, the professionals all have their own style of carving so don’t fret if your way is a bit different. But if you are intimidated by the size of the bird and your Great Aunt Betty’s critique, then by all means follow our steps to the letter. If a visual helps then watch as a chef at Walt Disney carves his turkeys: