Chef Daniel Traster shows us how to separate the dark meat in a turkey
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I’m Daniel Traster and I’m here to demonstrate for you how to carve a turkey. What I’m going to do now is show you how to carve the dark meat off the turkey. We’re going to begin by working off of the one side here. We make a small cut in the skin to get through to separate the dark meat, the leg and the thigh from the rest of the carcass. You can actually pull the leg down with your hands to create some space for you to work. Put your knife in to reach where the knuckle is. Let me show that to you right here. As you pull down, you’ll see the knuckle comes right out of the cooked turkey. So you can put your knife right through and separate that meat from the turkey, and then pull it away very easily. You’ll often have a little bit of dark meat that gets stuck to the carcass and you can pull that away very simply and use it on your plate. This is often called the oyster. Of course, you’re going to repeat this with the second leg but for the purposes of this demonstration let's work with one at the time. We want to separate the drumstick from the thigh and again, there is a knuckle keeping them together. So you’re going to make a small cut so you can find that knuckle and then put your knife right in between to separate the joint. Now you have the thigh and the drumstick. The bone on a cooked thigh should pull away very easily from the meat. If it does stick a little bit, take your knife and run it down the side of the bone to pull away any meat so the meat all stays together. Then you just pull the bone out holding the meat flat and cut away anything that sticks. You now have a boneless thigh which you can slice across the grain. The grain, the fibers of the meat run in a certain direction. Cutting across them will help to make it tender. So you can slice your meat again, across the grain into thick or thin slices and this is ready to be placed on our serving plate. We’ll move it to the side for now. For a drumstick, very simply we’re going to hold it in an angle and take our knife and slice down to create slices of meat off the drumstick. Turning and rotating the drumstick to make sure we get all of the meat off. Again, it goes very, very quickly. Once we have gotten all of the meat off and there will be a few tendons that are left on the meat, we’re ready to transfer all of the dark meat, thigh and drumstick to the serving platter. So just take your knife, slide it underneath the meat and move it over to your serving platter. These will give you nice tender pieces of dark meat. Next, we’re going to work on how to carve the wings.