How to carve your Thanksgiving turkey (video)

Posted at 5:00 AM, Nov 26, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-26 12:23:32-05

Alexander Bernard demonstrates carving a turkey for the final part of the Thanksgiving series. Bernard has been the chef and co-owner of Alexander’s Restaurant at 4077 U.S. 41 N., Naples, with his wife, Monika, since January 1995.

Bernard came to Naples as a partner and chef at Margaux’s after training at resorts and country clubs around the country. From Margaux’s he went on to be a partner at Michael’s Cafe and then he and Monica opened Alexander’s, which is named for their son.

Bernard starts cooking his family dinner three days before the holiday to get everything done to eat at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving. One Thanksgiving, he had to roast the turkey at the restaurant because Monika had just come back from Germany and bought a 26-pound turkey that was much too big for their home oven. His favorite way to roast a turkey is to brine it for two days in water covered in kosher salt with a bay leaf, peppercorns and sliced lemons. He likes the juicy and deep flavor of the meat when it is brined. Bernard also likes the leftover turkey the day after Thanksgiving when he reheats the meat for hot sandwiches.

His first tip before carving is to let the cooked turkey rest for at least 15 minutes after taking it out of the oven to let the juices flow through the bird. You should also have a sharp carving knife that is comfortable in your hand and a large fork to make the carving easier. He uses a boning knife for the joints and down by the wings and makes sure not to cut the breast slices too thin.

“When you are ready to carve place a damp napkin on the platter and then place the turkey on top of the napkin. This will prevent the turkey from sliding around the platter while you are carving,” Bernard explained.

“Remove the wings and the legs and place them on a serving plate then make a deep cut from the wing end to the top of the breast. Cut even breast slices and arrange them on the platter. Finish one side and repeat the process on the other side. The last thing to do when carving is to remove the turkey thighs,” Bernard said as he demonstrated.

Your turkey is now ready and dinner is served.