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How to carve a Thanksgiving turkey: 2 chefs share their secrets for a ‘beautifully carved’ bird

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Thanksgiving turkeys bring people together. They may also raise questions when it comes how you should be carving these holiday birds.

Should someone cut down the middle first? What about the legs and wings? How do get the meat out of the turkey’s base?

Chefs have long figured out how to carve whole turkeys for large gatherings. And two have shared their secrets with Fox News Digital.

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If you’re an American who will be enjoying one of the approximate 46 million turkeys served in our country on Thanksgiving Day, here’s a quick list of dos and don’ts of carving and an easy step-by-step guide.

Whole turkeys are commonly served as a Thanksgiving entrée in the U.S.

Whole turkeys are commonly served as a Thanksgiving entrée in the U.S.
(iStock)

Turkey carving: Quick dos and don’ts 

Thanksgiving turkeys can be expertly carved if you know the culinary dos and don’ts of carving, according to Chef Bill Hazel, a Germantown, Maryland-based professional cook and owner of Bill’s Grill, a barbecue restaurant he operates in Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland.

Do

Having a sharp carving knife is the first and most important step, according to Hazel. 

He recommends sharpening the knife before attempting to carve a turkey.

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Don’t

Dull carving knives are apparently a tool that Thanksgiving hosts should avoid.

“Using a dull knife will tear the turkey up and possibly hurt you in the process if you aren’t careful,” Hazel told Fox News Digital.

Do 

When the turkey is ready for serving, Hazel recommends starting a turkey carve with the turkey’s legs.

In his own words, “Carving the legs off first will allow you to have full access to the breast section.”

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Don’t

Hazel warns that Thanksgiving hosts should make sure they’re not carving a turkey “too soon.”

There should be a resting period after a turkey is removed from an oven or roaster, according to Hazel.

“Let the juices sink in and allow, let’s say 30 minutes or so, [before proceeding] to carve,” he said.

Do

A carving knife should be handled with a person’s dominant hand, according to Hazel.

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“While using the knife in your dominant hand, ensure you have a long-handled fork to hold the slices together in the opposite hand and cut the turkey into small pieces, so you can get a better hold,” he said.

Don’t

If seasonings and flavor are a top priority, Hazel says the turkey’s skin shouldn’t be removed.

“[The skin] holds such great flavor,” Hazel said. “It can be [one] of the best parts.”

Turkey carving: Step-by-step

Meat carving is a kitchen skill that involves the sectioning and cutting of meat. Many Americans practice this skill on Thanksgiving when they're tasked with carving a whole turkey.

Meat carving is a kitchen skill that involves the sectioning and cutting of meat. Many Americans practice this skill on Thanksgiving when they’re tasked with carving a whole turkey.
(iStock)

Chef Michael Sanguinetti of Denver, a personal and private chef with the luxury on-demand dining platform INTUEAT Incorporated, says turkey carving can be done with seven easy steps.

Here’s his turkey carving method.

1. Slice off the legs and thighs

Sanguinetti starts his turkey carve by slicing through the skin that’s between the turkey’s leg and breast.

“Pull back on the leg, laying it flat outward, and push up on the joint from underneath,” Sanguinetti told Fox News Digital. “You may hear a slight pop.”

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“At that point, use your knife to cut around the joint and remove the leg and thigh completely,” he continued. “Repeat this process on the other side and set these pieces aside.”

2. Remove the turkey breast

Slicing down on either side of the breastbone using “long strokes” is the second step Sanguinetti does when he’s carving a turkey.

“As your knife hits the bottom, use your thumb to gently pull the breasts outward, continuing to slice down and out until the breast meat is removed,” Sanguinetti said. “If needed, you can slice horizontally at the bottom of the breast from the outside to help remove it.”

The process should be repeated on the other side to carve the entirety of the turkey breast.

Chef Michael Sanguinetti of Denver, offers helpful tips on how to carve a Thanksgiving turkey.

Chef Michael Sanguinetti of Denver, offers helpful tips on how to carve a Thanksgiving turkey.
(iStock)

3. Remove the wings

Turkey wings are the third section Sanguinetti moves on to when he’s carving a whole turkey.

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“Gently pull the wings away from the body and slice through the joint to remove it,” he said.

“You can remove the wing tips [because] there’s really no meat here,” Sanguinetti continued. “[But,] they’re great for stocks.”

4. Separate the drumsticks from the thighs

After carving the wings, Sanguinetti returns to the turkey thighs, so he can remove the drumsticks.

When the meat from the topside of the turkey has been fully carved, he flips the turkey over.

“You can see the natural separation between the drumstick and the thigh,” Sanguinetti said. “Slice through the meat and gently pull pack on the drumstick to expose the joint, then slice through it. You’ll have two pieces, the drumstick and the thigh.”

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5. Remove the bone from the thigh

Sanguinetti uses a knife to slice around the turkey’s thighbone, and he told Fox News Digital he tries to preserve “as much meat as possible.”

Some Thanksgiving hosts opt to carve turkeys at the dinner table, so fresh slices can be served immediately.

Some Thanksgiving hosts opt to carve turkeys at the dinner table, so fresh slices can be served immediately.
(iStock)

6. Slice up the meat

The various pieces of Thanksgiving turkey can be sliced into smaller pieces, according to Sanguinetti.

“There are two things to remember here,” he said. “First, slice against the grain for tender pieces of meat. And second, use a very sharp knife to keep the skin attached to each piece.”

7. Serve the turkey slices right away

Turkey slices “cool quickly” once it has been removed from a whole turkey, Sanguinetti warned.

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“Make sure all your Thanksgiving side dishes, salads, sauces, and other goodies are cooked, on the table and ready to be enjoyed,” Sanguinetti said. “Then swoop in with your beautifully carved turkey and wow your guests.”

Source: https://www.foxnews.com/lifestyle/how-to-carve-thanksgiving-turkey-2-chefs-share-secrets-beautifully-carved-bird

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Groundhog Day quiz! How well do you know the facts about this unique day?

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Mobile app users: To access the quiz, click here!

Have you taken our car quiz yet? Try it here!

How about our tree quiz? Try it here!

What about our apples quiz? Check it out!

To take even more quizzes from Fox News Digital, click here.

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10 facts about Black History Month that are well worth knowing during observances in February

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Every February, the nation celebrates Black History Month by honoring the contributions African Americans have made throughout history, while also recognizing that the fight for racial justice continues.

Previously, the theme for Black History Month was Black Health and Wellness, as outlined by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), which is headquartered in Washington, D.C. This year, the association has announced the month’s theme is “Black resistance” with a planned virtual festival hosted by the association throughout February. 

“African Americans have resisted historic and ongoing oppression, in all forms, especially the racial terrorism of lynching, racial pogroms and police killings since our arrival upon these shores,” said the ASALH in a statement. 

BLACK HISTORY IS AMERICAN HISTORY

“These efforts have been to advocate for a dignified self-determined life in a just democratic society in the United States and beyond the United States political jurisdiction,” added the association. 

Jesse Jackson and others pose with copies of "Paul Robeson, the Great Forerunner" by the editors of Freedomways, 1980.

Jesse Jackson and others pose with copies of “Paul Robeson, the Great Forerunner” by the editors of Freedomways, 1980.
(Afro American Newspapers/Gado/Getty Images)

Scores of events across the country – in cities, communities, college campuses and more – are scheduled for this month.

10 key facts about Black History Month

1. The current population of Black and African Americans is 46.9 million, the U.S. Census Bureau reports. Also, 89.4% of African Americans age 25 and older had a high school diploma or higher in 2020, as Fox10 Phoenix reported.

2. A founder of ASALH, Carter G. Woodson, first had the idea of celebrating Black history. Woodson was born in 1875 to newly freed Virginia slaves. He later earned a Ph.D. in history from Harvard University. He worried that Black children were not being taught about their ancestors’ achievements in American schools in the early 1900s, as Fox 10 noted.

3. By the late 1960s, Negro History Week – the precursor for this month’s celebrations and events – changed into what is now known as Black History Month. In February 1969, a group of Black activist students and teachers at Kent State conducted the first celebration of Black History Month. Within a decade, Black social and cultural institutions throughout the country were celebrating the month, and by 1976, President Gerald Ford officially recognized it. 

4. The month of February was picked for Black History Month because it contained the birthdays of President Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Lincoln was born on Feb. 12, and Douglass, a former slave who did not know his precise birthday, celebrated his date of birth on Feb. 14, Fox 10 also noted.

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5. ASALH has celebrated Negro History Week and Black History Month for 96 years. Woodson, along with the association, announced in 1926 that the second week of February would commemorate the achievements of Black Americans. Initially, prominent Black leaders and newspapers supported the idea, and some education centers along the East Coast observed the monthly celebration. 

6. Fifty years after the first celebrations, President Gerald R. Ford officially recognized Black History Month at the country’s 1976 bicentennial. Ford called on Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history,” as History.com noted.

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7. Forty years after Ford’s recognition of Black History Month, President Barack Obama delivered this message, in part, from the White House: “Black History Month shouldn’t be treated as though it is somehow separate from our collective American history or somehow just boiled down to a compilation of greatest hits from the March on Washington or from some of our sports heroes… It’s about the lived, shared experience of all African Americans.”

Former President Barack Obama 

Former President Barack Obama 
(Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)

8. Canada also commemorates Black History Month in February. Although Black Canadians are approximately 3.5% of the country’s total population, community leaders and activists still celebrate the historical achievements of the Black community. Canadian politicians Jean Augustine and Donald Oliver were instrumental in getting Black History Month officially recognized in the country by 2008. 

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9. At the time of Negro History Week’s launch in 1926, Woodson believed the teaching of Black history was key to the physical and intellectual survival of the race: “If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated,” he said in part, as the Journal of Negro History reported.

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10. The 2023 theme for Black History Month is resistance; past themes have included Black health and wellness, family, migration and Black women in American culture and history, among others.

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Reddit user asks her adult daughter to pay half the monthly rent and utilities — family drama ensues

A Reddit user sought advice from others on whether it was OK or not for her to ask her adult daughter to split the rent with her.

Reddit user “throwaway_dating224” posted on the “Am I the A*****e” (AITA) subreddit on Jan. 30 asking if she was in the wrong for wanting her live-in 25-year-old daughter to pay part of the house rent payment.

The user said her daughter moved into her home in 2019 while she was attending college. 

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It’s unclear from the post whether the daughter had moved out, then moved back in; but the daughter has since graduated from college and gotten a paying job, although not enough to move out on her own. 

“I have asked her to split the cost of rent and utilities in half with me … and [she] doesn’t consider it fair,” the user wrote. 

The Reddit user said her daughter (not pictured) does not want to pay rent to her mom for her share of the home — claiming she's either saving for her own extended education or a down payment on a house. 

The Reddit user said her daughter (not pictured) does not want to pay rent to her mom for her share of the home — claiming she’s either saving for her own extended education or a down payment on a house. 
(iStock)

The poster said her daughter does not want to live with her and has told her that she’s saving money for continued education or a down payment on a house. 

The mother and daughter live in an area with a high cost of living, the Redditor said — but their rent is below average for the area. 

“Why are you too tired to move your stuff but not too tired to cash your daughter’s checks?”

Additionally, the mother said her daughter refuses to invite guests to the house, as she is “embarrassed at the state of the house,” repeatedly asking her mother to get rid of items in the home to make space for more of her things. 

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The mother claims she tends to be tired after work and finds it hard to clean up after herself once she’s back home.

The daughter (not pictured) claims her mother does not pick up around the house and that there's no room for all of her things, the Redditor wrote in her Jan. 30 post detailing a family standoff. 

The daughter (not pictured) claims her mother does not pick up around the house and that there’s no room for all of her things, the Redditor wrote in her Jan. 30 post detailing a family standoff. 
(iStock)

The Redditor ultimately wanted to know if it’s OK to ask her daughter to split the rent costs 50-50. 

An expert weighs in

This scenario is an example of a classic power struggle between a child and a parent, California-based parenting expert Stef Tousignant told Fox News Digital.

As a parent, there are three choices for how to approach this situation, Tousignant, a parenting expert for Parentdifferently.com, said. 

“Use your power to force or coerce, give in and let your child dictate the complete outcome — or use love, empathy and patience to come up with a solution with your child,” she also said. 

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The daughter in this situation is aware of the consequences of her actions as well as the concept of personal boundaries, said Tousignant, who recommended that the mother and daughter have a civil conversation. 

“Why should she pay half when the home is filled with all [of] your things?”

“The mother needs to come to the table with compassion for her daughter but boundaries for herself — and the daughter needs to come to the table with respect for her mother and accountability for her actions,” the expert recommended. 

The mother and daughter (not pictured) each need to "come to the table" with key points to make in a conversation, said California-based parenting expert Stef Tousignant.

The mother and daughter (not pictured) each need to “come to the table” with key points to make in a conversation, said California-based parenting expert Stef Tousignant.
(iStock)

Reddit users offered varying opinions on the hot topic. 

“Why should she pay half when the home is filled with all [of] your things?” one commenter wrote, addressing the mother. 

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Another user commented to the mom, “Why are you too tired to move your stuff but not too tired to cash your daughter’s checks?”

On the other hand, some users agree that the daughter should be pitching in and helping with expenses — but maybe not at a 50-50 split.

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“Charging her rent? Fine, no problem there,” one Reddit user responded. 

“But if she doesn’t have … use of half the space in the home yet, then remedy that before you charge her or adjust the rent [percentage] accordingly,” the same user added.

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