Related Speaker Series: Citarella on How to Throw an Elegant (and Elevated) Thanksgiving Feast

Whether you're hosting Thanksgiving for the first or the tenth time, there are always ways to up your turkey game and serve an even more incredible and impressive feast.

To help elevate your Thanksgiving meal this year, we hosted the latest Related Speaker Series with the experts from Citarella. Citarella's Head Buyer and Master Butcher Charlie Gagliardo, Chef Carolina Perego, and Wine and Spirits Director Michael Acheson showed us how to carve a turkey, bake the perfect apple pie and choose the best wine to complement your meal. In case you weren't able to make it, we've summed up their tips and tricks below.

Prefer not to cook? Citarella has everything you need for a great Thanksgiving feast; check out their Thanksgiving menu for dishes you can bring home this year.

How to Carve a Turkey Like a Pro (from Citarella's guide on "Effortless Entertaining")

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Charlie Gagliardo carves a turkey.

1. Remove the Legs. Prevent damage to the meat by angling the tip of the knife against the bone. Carefully make a vertical cut into the skin between the bottom of the breast and the thigh, then press down on the leg with your carving fork to expose the joint between the thigh and hip bones. You don’t need to cut through the bones themselves, just the tendon that holds the bones together.

Once the leg is removed, place it on your cutting board, skin-side down, and find the joint between the thigh and the drumstick. Cut through the joint and separate the two pieces. Then, using the tip of your knife, cut down the center of the thigh to expose the bone. Make small cuts along the bone on both sides and separate the meat from the bone. Repeat the process with the other leg.

Finally, turn the two thighs skin-side up on your cutting board and cut slices against the grain, from top to bottom. Place the slices on your warm platter along with the drumsticks.

2. Slice the Breast. Carving turkey breast after it's been detached from the turkey tends to be easier, but you can opt for the more dramatic presentation of carving at the table, with the breast attached. If you choose the latter method, simply start at the bottom of the breast, cutting slices against the grain until you reach the top. Repeat on the other side of the breast.

To detach and carve instead, find the breastbone and cut down to the immediate left. Hold the knife at an angle against the rib cage, and use long, shallow cuts to separate the meat from the bone. When the breast is completely removed, place it on your cutting board and slice against the grain. Repeat with the other side of the breast, cutting along the right side of the breast bone to remove the meat.

Add the sliced turkey breast to your serving platter.

3. Remove the Wings. Hold the wings away from the body to make the joints more visible. Slice through the tendon holding the joint, as you did with the turkey legs. Place the wing on your cutting board and bend it back to expose the middle joint. Cut through the joint to separate the two halves. Repeat with the remaining wing and add to your serving platter.

Thanksgiving dinner is a meal we remember all year long—the preparation, the bustle, the enticing aromas wafting from the kitchen morning to night. Most importantly, we look forward to the joy of being surrounded by our loved ones.

The Secret to Making a Stellar Apple Pie 

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Chef Carolina Perego prepares an apple pie.

Chef Carolina Perego demonstrated how to make the perfect apple pie. Her secret? Mixing four different types of apples: Honey Crisp, Fuji, Golden and Granny Smith. Serve it with vanilla ice cream and freshly roasted chestnuts.

Choosing a Wine (or Three)


Citarella's Wine and Spirits Director Michael Acheson treated guests to a selection of wines that were each "a classic representation of its terroir and varietal, and perfectly suited to pair with everything on your table." His recommendations are listed below – all of them are available from Citarella Wines & Spirits (note: Related residents receive 10 percent off wine purchases from Citarella, plus free delivery on order of $75+ within Manhattan).

Majolini, Franciacorta Brut 2009, $25
Bitouzet-Prieur, Bourgogne Blanc 2016, $29
“Domaine du Nozay” Sancerre 2018, $30
Anthill Farms, North Coast Pinot Noir NV, $25
Château Potensac, Haut-Medoc Bordeaux 2015, $43
Musso, Barbera d’Alba 2017, $19

Check out more photos from the event.

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