A turducken is a dish consisting of a partially de-boned turkey stuffed with a de-boned duck, which itself is stuffed with a small de-boned chicken - It's fast becoming a popular recipe for Thanksgiving.
"The thoracic cavity of the chicken and the rest of the gaps are stuffed, sometimes with a highly seasoned breadcrumb mixture or sausage meat, although some versions have a different stuffing for each bird."
"The result is a fairly solid layered poultry dish, suitable for cooking by braising, roasting, grilling, or barbecuing. The turducken is not suitable for deep frying Cajun style (to deep fry poultry, the body cavity must be hollow to cook evenly)."
Recipe & Instructions
You will need:
• 10 to 12-pound turkey, deboned
• 5 to 6-pound duck, completely deboned.
• 3 to 4-pound chicken, completely deboned.
• Prepared stuffing (see recipe).
• Metal skewers.
• Large roasting pan.
To make the brine: Mix salt and sugar with the water. Brine is ready when the mixture is completely dissolved. If the water is heated to quicken the process, make sure it is cooled to room temperature before placing meat in. Let the 3 birds sit in brine in the refrigerator overnight.
Preheat roaster to 500 degrees F.
Lay turkey skin side down on a flat surface. Dust turkey with your favorite Seasoning and add 1/4-inch layer of cornbread dressing or stuffing. Lay duck skin side down on top of dressing. Dust duck with seasoning and add 1/4-inch layer of dressing, stuffing or sausage mix. Repeat with the chicken.
"Begin trussing up the turkey at the neck. Insert metal skewer about 1/2-inch from the edge and up through the other side. Run butcher's twine between skin and skewer and tighten to draw both sides together. Continue down to legs. With every other skewer, draw together the duck and chicken skin. Tie together turkey legs to resemble standard turkey. Dust turkey skin with paprika."
"Place turducken in a heavy roaster. Roast turducken for 15 minutes. Then turn the roaster down to 225 degrees F to finish, approximately 3 hours. Baste once per hour with pan juices. If turducken begins to get too brown, tent loosely with heavy-duty aluminum foil that has been coated with vegetable spray. Remove turducken from roaster once the internal temperature in the chicken reaches 155 degrees F. Let rest for at least 20 minutes before carving."
Cut across the middle of the breast completely through.
Plate thin slices containing turkey, duck and chicken.
Yield: 12 to 14 servings
Fun Food Facts:
"Claims that Cajun-creole fusion chef Paul Prudhomme created this dish as part of the festival Duvall Days in Duvall, Washington in 1983 are unverified. A November 2005 National Geographic article by Calvin Trillin traced the American origins of the dish to "Hebert's Specialty Meats" in Maurice, Louisiana. They have been commercially producing turduckens since 1985, when an unknown local farmer brought in his own birds and asked Hebert's to prepare them in the now-familiar style. The company prepares around 5,000 turduckens per week around Thanksgiving time."
"Turducken is often associated with the "do-it-yourself" outdoor food culture also associated with barbecueing and shrimp boils, although some people now serve it in place of the traditional roasted turkey at the Thanksgiving meal. As their popularity has spread from Louisiana to the rest of the Deep South and beyond, they have become available through specialty stores in urban areas or by mail order."
"The popularity of turducken is mostly limited to the United States and Eastern Canada."
"In the United Kingdom, a turducken is a type of ballotine called a "multi-bird roast." It is also known as a Royal roast or Three bird roast."
An alternative is using a Goose instead of a Turkey, resulting in a Gooducken.
"The largest recorded nested bird roast is 17 birds, attributed to a royal feast in France in the early 19th century (originally called a Rôti Sans Pareil, or "Roast without equal") - a bustard stuffed with a turkey, a goose, a pheasant, a chicken, a duck, a guinea fowl, a teal, a woodcock, a partridge, a plover, a lapwing, a quail, a thrush, a lark, an Ortolan Bunting and a Garden Warbler. The final bird is small enough that it can be stuffed with a single olive; it also suggests that, unlike modern multi-bird roasts, there was no stuffing or other packing placed in between the birds. This dish could not be legally recreated in the modern era as many of the listed birds are now protected species."
Holiday recipes deserve a dedicated section because of their variety and richness.