How to Make a Turkducking / Turduken
“A turducken is a de-boned chicken placed in a de-boned duck placed in a de-boned turkey, with the two inner birds swaddled in stuffing.”
- Buy a turkey at least 14 pounds
- Also pick up a whole chicken
- As well as a small duck.
Bring all three birds to a butcher, and ask him to de-bone all three birds, unless you yourself can de-bone the birds at home. Remember to only remove the breast bones of the turkey. The other two birds need to be completely de-boned.
Get your stuffing ready. Be sure to make at least 3 cups extra then what you usually use. Lay your turkey out on the counter, and sprinkle with salt and pepper, then spread a generous amount of stuffing inside. Take your duck and place it on top of the stuffing, salting and peppering it as well, then making another layer of stuffing. Last place the chicken on the stuffing and repeat process. Once all the birds are layered, pick up turkey by legs and tie together with string. Drizzle olive oil and melted butter over entire bird. Then salt and pepper all over the turkey. cover with bacon and sit back and wait to eat.
Heat oven to 225 degrees F. Temperature control is critical since the turducken is so massive that it has to be cooked slowly at a low temperature to prevent burning the outside before the interior is cooked. Using an oven thermometer is highly recommended. We place 2-3 oven thermometers at different locations within the oven to monitor oven temperature. We also use a meat thermometer inside the bird to measure its internal temperature.
Place the bird in the center of the oven and bake until a meat thermometer inserted through to center reads 165 degrees, approximately 9 hours, though cooking times will vary depending on the size of the birds and amount of stuffing used. Rely on temperature and not time cooked for doneness.
There will be no need to baste, but accumulated drippings may need to be removed from the pan every few hours so that the lower portion does not deep fry in the hot oil. Save pan drippings for gravy. Remove the turducken from the oven and let cool in the pan for an hour before serving. Make gravy according to your favorite recipe.
To serve cut bird in half. Carve crosswise so each slice reveals all 3 meats and stuffings. Will make 15 to 25 servings.
Take 1 cup of pan drippings plus 1 cup of flour and cook over medium heat until “tan”. Add 10 cups stock to fat/flour all at once. Whisk thouroughly. Bring back to a boil and then simmer for 5 min. Whisk constantly. Add salt + pepper + paprika “to taste”.
Another simple gravy variation is to use about a quarter to half cup of pinot grigio and about two to three tablespoons of instant potatoes instead of the flour. Test for taste and if it gets too thick add water or more pinot.
The gravy can be made in advance and allowed to stand over low heat for at least 2 hours (maybe more). We usually make at least two batches.
Calvin Trillin has traced turducken’s origins to Morris, Louisiana; in his article in National Geographic he describes a shop called Hebert’s Specialty Meats, “a stuffed-fowl specialist” practiced in the art of poultry de-boning. In 1985, at the behest of an unnamed local farmer, who had one of each bird–turkey, duck, and chicken–and wished to eat them all at once, inside one another, Hebert’s obliged to create the first turducken. Due to popularity, today 3,300 vacuum-seeled turduckens leave its doors yearly; a 14-16 pound turducken, which feeds 23 people, goes for $74.95.
Multiple bird roasts have a longer tradition; they go back to the early 19th century France, where they apparently aspired to make a seventeen bird roast. Most people couldn’t even name seventeen kinds of edible birds (apparently the smallest was a “garden warbler”). Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, of River Cottage fame, cooked a ten bird roast for a Christmas episode of his pastoral television show, made up of turkey, goose, duck, mallard, guinea fowl, chicken, pheasant, partridge, pigeon and woodcock. He declared it delicious.
Partial content by JeannieKerns and http://www.thesalmons.org/lynn/turducken.html