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How to Bone Turkey Breast and Thighs

By Fine Cooking Editors, editor

September 1st, 2010

by Bruce Aidells

Turkey thighs and whole breasts are most often sold bone-in and skin-on, so if you’re making the Turkey Thighs Stuffed with Porcini, Sausage, and Artichoke Hearts or the Roasted Turkey Breast, Porchetta Style, you’ll probably need to sharpen your boning knife and remove some bones. It’s not hard, once you know the techniques. Just follow these steps:

Boning the Thigh
boning the thigh   boning the thigh
1. Put a thigh skin side down on a cutting board. Using a boning knife, begin cutting between the thigh bone and the meat as close to the bone as possible.   2. Continue to work your knife around the bone and thigh joint, making sure that no gristle or cartilage remains attached to the meat, until the bone is cut completely free.

Extra: Watch the video to learn how to bone a turkey thigh.

Boning the Breast
boning the breast   boning the breast
1. Lay the breast skin side down on a cutting board. If the backbone is still attached to the breast, cut it away with poultry shears. Next, locate the wish bone in the V-shaped neck end of the breast. Using a boning knife, scrape the meat away from the bone and remove the bone.   2. Remove the rib cage and breast bone by cutting between the ribs and the meat at one edge of the breast. Scrape the knife as close to the rib bones as possible, and as the bones come free, pull back on them to make cutting between the bones and meat easier. Continue until you reach the breast bone.
boning the breast   boning the breast
3. Scrape the point of the knife along the breast bone and use your thumb to free the meat. Be careful not to cut through the meat and skin at the ridge of the breast bone (the meat is very thin here).   4. Once you bone half the breast, scrape along the other side of the breast bone and along the ribs until the entire rib cage and breast bone can be freed in one piece.

Extra: Watch the video to learn how to bone a whole turkey breast.

Photos: Scott Phillips


posted in: Blogs, Thanksgiving, turkey, boning
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