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Turducken


Human Bean
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Paula Dean just made one on a Thanksgiving special show that just aired. You can problably check for reruns and watch her assemble it. You can get her recipe for foodtv.com. She had layered stuffing between all the birds. When it was put back together it looked like a regular turkey. Looked yummy!

Turducken - a turkey, stuffed with a duck, stuffed with a chicken - something I heard about ages ago, but it seemed too difficult to achieve; how could you get the right sized birds to actually do this?

This popped up in my mind recently, so, naturally, it's time to consult google: google - turducken

It turns out that this is a sort of ballottine; the birds are boneless and also include several kinds of stuffing. It seems to be associated with Paul Prudhomme, but I have no idea if he originated it.

One recipe, annotated with notes on a Prudhomme original, is here: turducken annotated - thanks google.

This seems VERY labor intensive, as well as taking a long time to cook, but waiting for something to cook for a long time isn't inherently difficult (Mmmm, beer. :smile: )

So, has anyone ever made or eaten one of these? Is it worth the effort?? With Thanksgiving coming in the US, it seems more-or-less timely to ask.

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. . . . .

Is a Turducken a specific style of stuffed bird (I have read that it has Southern USA or even cajun origins) or are people simply using it as a synonym for  "Ballontine".

Turducken was supposedly "invented" by Paul Prudhomme some years ago but that has been disputed. Then, I read somewhere that he really did and this was documented. So, yes, it does have a southern US origin, southern Louisiana to be specific. The original stuffings were Cajun style. It is a turkey stuffed with a duck, stuffed with a chicken. Some even go so far as to put a quail in the chicken. If I can find it (been looking, no luck yet), jackal10 has a series of pictures somewhere that are an excellent record of the preparation for the gorgeous thing up-thread.

So if the cajun flavours are no longer used, then what differentiates it from a ballontine, other then the exact choice of birds? I mean there are plenty of similar creations about and have been for hundreds of years (a Yorkshire Christmas Pie has turkey, a goose, a fowl, a partridge and a pigeon or variations for instance) is there anything distinct about it?

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. . . . .

So if the cajun flavours are no longer used, then what differentiates it from a ballontine, other then the exact choice of birds? I mean there are plenty of similar creations about and have been for hundreds of years (a Yorkshire Christmas Pie has turkey, a goose, a fowl, a partridge and a pigeon or variations for instance) is there anything distinct about it?

The Cajun flavors are definitely still used. That is what you will get if you order from one of the butcher shops in Cajun country. Perhaps what differentiates it is that, whatever it is, Paul Prudhomme called it a turducken. :biggrin:

Chef Paul's recipe is here.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Though we were disappointed in the tur-duc-hen overall, we don't regret having tried it. Now we have experienced turducken. Some follow-up, for those interested...

I still believe as I mentioned up-thread that it would not be worth the time and expense to make this ourselves.

I can't remember the name of the brand, but it did have the word "Cajun" in it. It came frozen with directions for cooking if totally thawed and for if it was still partially frozen. We went with the thawed directions and that made it slightly overdone. The thing weighed 15 pounds. Most of the meats were still moist, but I wouldn't go so far as to say juicy. Not surprising, there was more stuffing than anything and next most was turkey, chicken and duck in that order. The stuffing was terrible. On one side was a mushy bread stuffing that tasted like it was seasoned only with Cajun spices, and not good quality spices at that. The other side's stuffing had sausage in it, and its seasoning was too hot. The wings and legs of the turkey were still attached. The drumstick meat tasted good. The turkey, duck, and chicken were tasty, and put together, it was pretty.

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Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 8 months later...
Has anyone tried to make a turducken by:

- brining it

- smoking it, then -

- frying it?

And here I thought the bar couldn't be raised any higher. :laugh:

edited for clarity

Edited by Toliver (log)

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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Fry it if you want horribly dry over-cooked meat.

By the time you've smoked it it should be cooked.

A turducken is a big lump of solid meat. You have to cook it long and slow so that the heat penetrates to the middle before the outside is overcooked. You don't have a hollow body cavity like a turkey, so trying a high temperature cooking method like frying will overcook the outside before the inside is cooked. Frying at low temperature will just be greasy.

My smoked turducken: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showto...dpost&p=1012812

Edited by jackal10 (log)
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  • 11 months later...

For the past few weeks my daughter has pleaded with me to not serve turkey this year. At first I thought this was in empathy for the Turkey, but then realized that, horror of all horrors, she does not like turkey... I could understand this if my bird was like my mother's sawdust turkey which was always over cooked, but I go to great efforts to plan ahead and cook low and slow, to get that perfectly bronzed and juicy bird we see in the media. Asking the kid what she does not like, I found out that she in fact does enjoy the turkey, but hates the aftermath of Turkey sandwiches, the Turkey curry, etc.... Clearly her problem is due to turkey overload.

She stated that she was happy that I did not serve turkey last year and asked that I do the same again this year...?!? ah, the TURDUCKEN.... Yup, I chose to tackle the challenge of making a Turducken, a turkey stuffed with a Chicken, stuffed with a Duck.... Although it sounds heavy and complicated, it is actually quicker to cook that a Turkey, not too difficult to prepare, and not any more heavy than eating turkey. Add to this, that the turkey, chicken and duck are deboned, and the resulting roast is a breeze to slice, and easy to serve.

Making a turducken in Montreal requires no special skills or anything too exotic, but there are a few tips worth following:

If you are making this for the first time, check out the recipe from Paul Prudhomme, it is tried and true, and it works.

You don't need the whole turkey, and will find it easier if you only use the Turkey breast only.

Use a whole deboned Chicken.

For the duck... Head over to Aubut and get some of their excellent and awesomely prices Magret. Don't buy the small ones which are more skin than meat. Buy the large marget. (To put things in perspective, Aubut sells a pair of marget for ~$11 where you would pay over $25 elsewhere.

If the layer of fat on the marget is too thick trim it down a bit.

Butterfly the magret so that it can be layered in the center of the assembly.

Pick up some good quality sausage for the sausage stuffing( yup, I was a skeptic too, but it is not overpowering and it works). Tranzo on Monkland has excellent sausage, Milano’s is a bit lean, but with the fat from the duck it should work.

If you attempt to make a Turducken this way, you will end up with an easy to truss roast that will cook in less time than a traditional turkey. And no, the prep does not take forever. It should take about an hour if you do not rush.

I weighed posting this elsewhere, but I felt it my duty to evangelize Montrealers on how not to inflict another turkey on your family and friends. This is a perfect way to enjoy thanksgiving for those of us who love turkey, but are dining with others that do not.

Be sure to invite hungry guests (or anyone like my brother the Freegan (eats anything as long as it is free)) and I can assure you Minimal leftovers. I will send you my brother if you need a pinch hitter.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Edited by fedelst (log)

Veni. Vidi. Voro.

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a Turducken

Sounds fun, just don't call it a turd-duck-ken.

Clearly this would be just a whole new level of YECH.

Hey!!! I did not name the thing, I just make it. I would take this up with the creator, Paul Prudhomme....

If I had created it, I would have wrapped the whole thing in a suckling pig, wrapped in a lamb, wrapped in a veal, then I would have dug a pit in my neighbors back yard (why ruin my yard), borrowed a half cord of his wood (hey, why not, I will invite him for dinner), start a pit, and roasted the whole thing until done to perfection (love this term, it is so nebulous)...

You know what...I think I will have enough to invite you too. Please bring a pie.

Veni. Vidi. Voro.

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Ditch the turdurcken, and go for prime rib.  That's what we usually do for Thanksgiving.

Well that really messes it up for the cranberries and stuffing... Prime Rib or beef Wellington is X-mas...

Veni. Vidi. Voro.

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Ditch the turdurcken, and go for prime rib.  That's what we usually do for Thanksgiving.

Well that really messes it up for the cranberries and stuffing... Prime Rib or beef Wellington is X-mas...

I could just as easily say Thanksgiving is Turkey, not Frankenbird. :rolleyes:

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  • 2 months later...

Old thinking: turducken rules!

New thinking: The Love Roast !

The Love Roast: 12 Days of Christmas birds

"The True Love Roast has a bird for each of the 12 days of Christmas.

"It uses skinless breast meat from several birds of each species with flavours that work well together."

The roast contains turkey, goose, chicken, pheasant, partridge, pigeon squab, Aylesbury duck, Barbary duck, poussin, guinea fowl, mallard-and quail with herb and fruit stuffings.

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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  • 1 month later...

Wrigleyville Turducken Project Report Part 1:

PREP:

Tools:

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Where it all went down:

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Bird 1 - Chicken (note unfollowed instructions in upper left):

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Bird 2 - Duck - no picture, not really worth taking one, I wanted to take the skin off and in doing so I was left pretty much with a random pile of meat and two breast, even less photogenic than the other ones.

Bird 3 - Turkey (post brining - forgot to take the picture the night before):

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The aftermath (not shown - totally stuffed fridge or gross floor):

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Duck Fat and Skin Rendering:

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ASSEMBLY

Chicken (stuffed and tied for pre-cooking)

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Duck on Stuffing on Turkey:

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Chicken on Stuffing on Duck on Stuffing on Turkey:

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Sewn Up (yes the other side is done to, it just looked really bad):

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Trussed Up (first try ever at this, did not go awesome):

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Buttered Up - Ready for the oven (and only an hour late):

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Chicken on Stuffing on Duck on Stuffing on Turkey:

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Is it typical to precook the chicken? Do you chill it before adding it to the other birds?

One day I will try this. You sort of need an appropriate occasion for it, don't you?

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Wrigleyville Turducken Project Result:

gallery_40942_5667_44511.jpg

So it's done and eaten, it was tasty, but it was a lot of work that might have been better spent just roasting the birds individually and enjoying them that way. As a brag-y cooking project it was worth it, but probably only once. All of the flavors kind of blend together, all of the birds and stuffing and skin and it makes some kind of super bird, that while tasty might not equal to the sum of its parts.

I saw the pre-cooked chicken in a youtube video of someone's turducken, it seemed like a good idea. With so much meat mass I liked the idea of giving the inside of the bird a head start. I did not chill it, it sat on top of the stove in its pan until being placed on the construction. I must confess I probably violated lots of food safety rules on this one, but so far everyone is ok. It was really hard to get everything all lined up an done at the same time so there was probably too much sitting.

Definitely this is an occasion food. It was a two day project, I did do most of it myself (except for the sewing and trussing when I had an assistant) so maybe if everyone took their own bird it would be done faster. It is also crazy heavy, physical weight wise and in your stomach. That might have been the butter and duck fat and gravy, but even without that you are going to get really full really fast.

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Wrigleyville Turducken Project Result:

gallery_40942_5667_44511.jpg

Danf, that is a thing of great beauty. Thanks for sharing. We have done the turducken thing here a few times but never with whole birds, just the breasts, so strictly speaking probably not a legitimate turducken. We pound the breast meat flat and stack them with stuffing in between. This can be baked flat or rolled up - the former looks like a weird bird lasagna and the latter a big bird roulade (not the Sesame Street one).

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Wrigleyville Turducken Project Result:

gallery_40942_5667_44511.jpg

Bravo! I say long live Turduckens. I know that they are supposed to be so "last millenium" now, but I think that they are fun and great food for a crowd.

And Peter the Eater, I would love to see your turducken lasagne and bird roulade things.

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I was thinking of some kind of layered bird thing after I had them all deboned and flat on the table, it would have definitely done away with some of the more annoying parts of this thing, namely putting it back together and keeping it in one piece.

I like the idea of this being "so last millennium." I wonder who decided that the turducken was no longer to be "done" after 2000. I can see how it doesn't really have that much glamour appeal but come on, look at it, its not supposed to be serious. Maybe if I had made with local birds, heirloom cornbread stuffing and cooked it sous vide? or some "molecular" turducken - chicken, duck and stuffing caviar surrounded by laser fried turkey skin?

Anyways, I'm sure there will always be someone willing to stuff/stack any food with any other food and cook it.

Edited by danf (log)
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....laser fried turkey skin.

[HOMER] Mmm...laser fried turkey skin. [/HOMER] :laugh:

Thanks for posting the results and taking one for the team!

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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