Let’s go over parts of a turkey, how to cut up a whole bird and how to cook each one best. 3 diagrams will show you where each one is.
Do you know all the parts of a turkey and where they are on the bird? Wondering how to position it if your recipe calls for the breast side facing up? Let’s show you where each piece is, how to cut it apart and ways to cook a moist turkey whole or dismantled. (affiliate links present)
Parts of a Turkey Diagram
Ok so I have three different pictures here for you. One is drawn below and a side view so you can really see where the thigh and drumettes are since in the other images those are a bit hidden. Let’s go over all 5 first shall we. You will get two of each per bird, other than just one turkey neck.
- Turkey leg quarters
The last two dark meat selections will come off as one piece. If you wanted to cook whole turkey wings you could do so but I prefer them separated. Legs and thighs will come off together as well and will need to be parted as well unless you want to cook as whole quarters. For the ideal “doneness” it’s best to part ways.
You can print this image below if you would like to have it next to you when you’re slicing it apart.
How do you separate turkey legs and thighs
It is all about finding the joints when it comes to separating the two. We show you here how to deconstruct a raw turkey here. That post will show you in detail how to remove all 5 pieces from the carcass. From there you can cook each one in all sorts of ways, choose your fave;
- This is the best way to roast turkey thighs in an air fryer
- We love baked turkey wings in the oven
- Air fryer turkey legs are out of this world, or make baked turkey legs in the oven
- There are a few different ways of cooking a Butterball turkey breast, the white meat of the bird
Want to cook the whole thing but in pieces like you see here below?? NO problem, and it only takes about an hour to get done this way. We call this a deconstructed turkey on a sheet pan. A really fun choice, and so fast if you don’t want to nurse your dish in the oven all day.
Now let’s talk about getting it all to taste fabulous shall we? My suggestion is to whip up our simple brine recipe and soak all your pieces overnight, just to die for. If you want to just go super simple with just garlic, salt and pepper you can do that too but that mixture soaks into the meat and makes it OMG delsih.
Want to see a few of my favorite things that I am totally obsessed with?? Take a peek and see how many you might already have…twinsies!