Turkey Carving Tips From Chef Rick Alabaugh
We at Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club can tell you this for sure: None of us here can run 20 mph, which is how fast turkeys run.
But we don’t need to go chasing these birds as early American settlers did for their Thanksgiving celebration. We just run to the store. But before we provide you with some amazing tidbits about Thanksgiving, we present to you turkey carving tips from our grand culinary wizard, Chef Rick Alabaugh, the man who can turn turkeys into tremendous:
- Roast your turkey upside down for the first hour. Then turn right side up for remaining cooking time. When your turkey is done, remove it from the oven, cover it with foil and let it sit for 10-15 minutes before placing it on a clean-cutting board. The temperature should reach 160 degrees.
- Separate the drumsticks from the thighs by holding the tip of each drumstick and cutting through the joint where it meets the thigh bone.
- Hold each drumstick by the tip, resting the larger ends on the cutting board. Slice parallel to the bone until all meat is sliced.
- Make a deep horizontal cut into the breast meat just above the wing.
- From the outer top edge of each breast, continue to slice from the top down to the horizontal cut made during the previous step. Repeat steps 4-5 on the other side.
- Remove wings by cutting through the joints where the wing bones and back bone meet.
Voila! You may commence with your Thanksgiving feast.
Exploring the Gobbler
Americans of old didn’t have Rick Alabaugh’s wit and wisdom to provide them with turkey carving tips for their delicious delights. Those ancient folks of the 19th century and earlier had to rely on previous generations and folklore to sustain their culinary predilections.
Historians can’t agree – especially when they gather together for Thanksgiving holiday meals – about the origin of turkey eating on Thanksgiving. Some conjecture that early settlers and Wampanoag settlers dined on beef and “fowl”. A letter by pilgrim Edward Winslow mentions several celebrants went turkey hunting before the meal.
Historians also think early colonists may have took to eating turkey following news that England’s Queen Elizabeth celebrated the sinking of a fleet of Spanish ships on their way to attack. She reportedly was so pleased she ordered another goose cooked for the royal family’s meal. American colonists were inspired and roasted turkeys instead of geese.
Later Benjamin Franklin asserted that wild turkey would make a suitable bird for the new nation. His colleagues demurred. The bald eagle rose to become the national emblem in 1782.