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In Search of Turducken Stories


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So - it's getting to be the holidays, and I'm writing a story about Turducken - the rather brutally festive Cajun specialty featuring a series of birds stuffed into one another with fillings in between.

I know Prudhomme claims it, and have found references to similar recipes as far back as 1832 here in Charleston, but am wondering what I'm missing.

Any older, Cajun-based origins out there? What do you guys know about it? I bet fistfullaroux has some insight.

Thanks from the newbie!

Molly

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You might want to check out a frivolous but entirely informative piece

Hitting below the Belch ... citing Amanda Hesser, no less! :laugh:

In short, Turduckens are the hat trick of metaphors, simultaneously encompassing Bad Taste, American Ingenuity, and Capitalist Glut.

I have heard a great deal on turducken and watched Prudhomme prepare it ... there are even online kosher turduckens for $150 ... :wink:

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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I read it on Saturday morning, and it was helpful, but a little scathing. I did enjoy the part about the veggie version, though.

Oh well, the place where animal welfare and culinary interests cross is never a pleasant intersection.

Must have been a ball watching Prudhomme make one. The first time I saw it was back when Emeril Live was actually a good show (pardon the editorial moment) and it was great.

Thanks for the reference. Kosher, huh? wow.

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In the movie Le Grande Boef they serve a similar French dish. Can't remember the name of it.

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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If you really want to try it, plan on feeding 20 or so people, and go ahead and buy one. You will make yourself crazy trying to do one yourself, with no experiences to help you.

Personally, I don't care for them. I don't go out of my way to avoid or find them, they are just - eh. I think not worth the time or effort.

But if you are willing to foot the bill, and go through the trouble of cooking it, make sure you do it right. Check the temperatue often until it is done.

Screw it. It's a Butterball.
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In the movie Le Grande Boef they serve a similar French dish. Can't remember the name of it.

here are the pictures and the recipe but in French .. :wink: Terrine de Joue et Queue de Boeuf

Queue de Boeuf (ox tail)

Joue de Boeuf (ox cheek)

Pied de Veau (calf's foot)

yes! Kosher turducken from Aaron's Gourmet! :biggrin:

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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This is but part of a much older recipe and tradition. Goose stuffed with boned birds date to at least the 13th century.

The following appears in the 13th-century Arabo-

Andalusian _Manuscrito Anonimo_, and is reprinted in Cariadoc's

Collection, volume II:

Roast Calf, which was made for the Sayyid Abu-L-'Ala in Ceuta

Take a young, plump ram, skinned and cleaned; open it deeply between

the thighs and carefully take out all the entrails that are in its

belly.

Then put in the interior a stuffed goose and into its belly a

stuffed hen and in the belly of the hen a stuffed pigeon and in the

belly of the pigeon a stuffed thrush and in the belly of this a small

bird, stuffed or fried, all this stuffed and sprinkled with the sauce

described for stuffing; sew up this opening and place the ram in a hot

tannur and leave it until it is browned and ready;

sprinkle it with that sauce and then place it in the body cavity of a calf which has

been prepared clean; sew it up and place it in the hot tannur and

leave it until it is done and browned; then take it out and present

it.

Other sources (although I can't find them now) then stuff the calf into a camel...

Claudia Roden, in A Book of Middle Eastern Food says: "The lamb can also be boned before it is stuffed. I have seen baby lambs served at weddings, made to look like miniature camels, their boneless backs shaped into a hump."

There are also many 15th century recipes for multiple stuffings. Of course Turkey was not introduced into England before the late sixteenth century and became a popular Christmas dish by about 1650. King George II was said to have kept about 3000 turkeys in the grounds of Richmond park to feed to friends at Christmas.

It seems logical that it might have replaced the goose that we see above had been stuffed this way for at least four hunderd years before that, and be served stuffed with boned out birds for grand feasts

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How to stuff a Camel http://home.tiac.net/~cri/1997/camel.html. I saw our local one today at the market and It was bigger than a horse. Yes, we have a Camel in town and it's yet another "Roadside Attraction" for hire.

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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Many thanks to you all !! I forgot all about the Steingarten chapter, and the history from Jackal is very helpful.

fistfullaroux - I have made one and I agree with you - buying is the way to go, especially for the "gentle reader." $100 is a bargain for something this involved.

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I have made one and I agree with you - buying is the way to go, especially for the "gentle reader." $100 is a bargain for something this involved.

So, let me guess, the camel is no longer a viable option now, Molly? :rolleyes::laugh:

Thanks for a cool thread! :biggrin:

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Don't want to hijack this thread, but I've been waiting for cooler weather to order one and need any recs you may have. Has anyone had one from Poche's? Also, which is the 'traditional' stuffing - I think Poche's has a few to choose from.

Thanks,  Doug

right here with Poche's at the bottom of the page :rolleyes:

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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If you really want to try it, plan on feeding 20 or so people, and go ahead and buy one. You will make yourself crazy trying to do one yourself, with no experiences to help you.

Personally, I don't care for them. I don't go out of my way to avoid or find them, they are just - eh. I think not worth the time or effort.

I agree. While it's a novelty, it's not a sublimely delicious novelty, and I'd rather spend my time and effort on something else. Not that I've made or even cooked one, but I watched my mother make herself a nervous wreck one Thanksgiving, and she was only concerned with the cooking, as she'd bought the thing from specialty meat shop. It was tasty, but not spectacular.

Dear Food: I hate myself for loving you.

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patti, I love your signature quote!!

My turducken-making project was for a large group and while all the parts were individually quite successful (good stuffings, gravy, etc) the whole did not exactly hit it big. They're pretty good storytelling, though - I figure I can wrestle a fairly entertaining story from them.

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Here is the website for Heberts . The turducken is on the upper left box. He also carries Poche's cause I can get my tasso there. Ed Richard, the owner, is a pretty nice guy. He throws a couple of Louisiana parties every year. h

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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patti, I love your signature quote!!

Thank you, how sweet of you to say. Is your name a clever play on the old song title, Johnny B. Goode?

Damn, I knew that was going to start happening. I got married a month and a half ago, and my maiden name was Baldwin, hence, Molly B. Goodwin. Didn't realize it till my new business cards came in.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Turduckens first came on my radar about 10 years ago, about the same time everyone started frying their turkeys. the turduckens were a flash in the pan..but we still fry the turkey. One was a fad, the other a damn good way to cook a turkey, faster too! They still sell a lot of them around here though. The signs have been up at all the meat markets to order now! I have no idea who's buying them, but most of these guys ship, and when someone hears about them I think the initial reaction is 'cool'. I think most people only try it once. They're a little costly to do twice just for the cool factor.

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patti, I love your signature quote!!

Thank you, how sweet of you to say. Is your name a clever play on the old song title, Johnny B. Goode?

Damn, I knew that was going to start happening. I got married a month and a half ago, and my maiden name was Baldwin, hence, Molly B. Goodwin. Didn't realize it till my new business cards came in.

Sorry, Molly, I thought it was cute! :shock: I won't refer to it again. :wink:

Dear Food: I hate myself for loving you.

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