Soooooooo. This would be the third turducken I have had the privilege of being part of. I have to admit that the first was probably the best. The second was the worst and the third somewhere in between.
So just define a turducken..... A turducken is a dish consisting of a de-boned chicken stuffed into a de-boned duck, which is in turn stuffed into a de-boned turkey. The dish is a form of engastration, which is a recipe method in which one animal is stuffed inside the gastric passage of another. The stuffing part is a misnomer. It is more like wrapping.
Some people are just completely grossed out by this. When had friends-giving and announced we were doing the turducken a number of guests immediately canceled. I have to admit, then when done properly it is magical. I have to admit that I probably enjoyed it the most considering I was the only one that went back for seconds...and thirds and turducken sandwiches all that week.
Back in 2007 a large number of us got together to raise the dead.....er create the frankenbird.... We had a party and decided to make a turducken. That version we de-boned ourselves. I believe that it weighed 48 pounds and smoked for over two days. All the while we partied and passed out then partied then passed out then woke up and ate every last bite. In 2008 we actually got a lead on where we could buy one. We placed the order with our local butcher. The first sign that it was going to be bad was that it came frozen in a box. It was also box shaped. Not even going to talk about. Worst $30 we ever spent.
So fast forward to last thanksgiving. Oh man. What a feast. This one probably weighed somewhere in the range of 35 pounds. This is how it was made.
Step 1: We actually have a great butcher. So good that they will de-bone anything while you are waiting. We picked out our birds from the case. I think the duck ended up being organic. We handed it over to the man in white behind the counter and about 30 minutes later we had two bags. One with the insides and one with the outsides. We used a large sheet pan to lay it all out. Have them leave on the wings and the legs of the Turkey (they chopped ours off because I forgot to tell them).
Step two: Prepare your stuffing. So there are different variations on all of this. Some people stuff it with Rice others with oysters. I prefer sage sausage stuffing. This also pads the layers and in my opinion keeps the birds from drying out. We happened to have two loaves of the dutch oven bread made a couple of days prior. I cut the loaves into cubes and actually broiled them on low for a while to dry them out even further. So just a quick recipe for our stuffing.....We browned sage sausage in a cast iron skillet. Drained the meat. Brought about 1 cup of chicken stock to a boil. Added the grease from the sausage. Pour the hot chicken stock grease mix into a large stainless bowl and tossed in the dried bread cubes and meat. After tossing for a bit I covered it with a dish towel to ensure that the moisture was captured and all the dried bread cubes became moist.
Step six: .....We decided that it was not up to our level of gluttony so we actually decided to make a bacon weave on the top... yeah bacon.
Step seven: I forgot something. Go back to step five. When you sew up the birds you should think about sewing in a probe style thermometer. This is really the only accurate way to cook this thing. Once you have the thermometer in it is super easy. Just follow the guidelines for cooking a normal stuffed turkey. The best part about all of this is the no bones. You can slice through this monster like you are cutting through meat loaf.
If I remember correctly if cooked for a number of hours at 425 degrees covered in foil then an hour or two outside of the foil. It was amazing. You are welcome to comment.