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Watch: How to Carve Your Turkey This Thanksgiving

Learn from a pro

If you can carve a chicken, you can carve a turkey. In the video above, chef Ana Harrison of Freemans in NYC walks through how to tackle this big bird, step by step.

First of all: Don't be intimidated. Just follow the natural lines of the bird. You should never be cutting through bone. Cut along the keel bone to remove the breasts, and detach the thighs and drumsticks where the joints connect. They should just pop away.

For the most tender bites of turkey, make sure you slice against the grain. "The grain" here refers to the direction in which muscle fibers run. If the meat is sliced with the grain, it will be rubbery, and have a stringy texture. Slicing perpendicular to the grain breaks up the muscle fibers and yields tender, soft bites. To identify the grain, flip the meat so that it is skin side down, and look at the meat. You should see lines running in one direction.

The most delicious part of a turkey is, obviously, the skin. To make sure each slice has a bit of the good stuff, use a sharp knife or a serrated knife. A dull knife won't be able to cut through the skin without shredding the meat.

Bonus tip: When you're cooking a turkey, the most important thing isn't time, it's temperature. Keep it low so you don't end up with a dry bird.

For a complete step-by-step, check out the video above.

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