Turducken- For a Different Thanksgiving Bird
Turduken is a Louisiana invention made popular by local Cajun Chefs. Deboned stuffed poultry has been a specialty of southern butchers for years.
I remember my brother serving a deboned stuffed turkey stuffed with a firey hot rice stuffing that was inserted in the cavity and baked for hours. When it was done, you would let it cool slightly and cut pieces off draped with this spicy rice dressing.
When I found out my local neighborhood butcher was making them, I decided to try one out. I had seen them in cookbooks and on TV and always thought about doing one myself, but I have to admit my boning skills were pretty rusty so I was happy to find someone else to do it. So I bought one to cook at the cabin for a mob of hungry guys on a annual work weekend. I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to test a turducken.
Here is the way I did it, there's not much prep work to it. Just make sure you have enough room in the fridge as the meat ends up being about 18 pounds. I put mine in a cooler with ice bricks.
Make sure also you have a big enough roasting pan.
Instructions were given to me to cook 8-9 hours at a low temp. So I picked the temp of 300F I made sure to cover it and sealed it tight with foil. The risk of it drying out was pretty high, so I made sure the seal was tight.
Tip: make sure your pan is deep enough, you will get over a quart of meat juices from the birds. I suctioned mine out with a baster and used it for my dressing.
The last 45 minutes or so I took the foil off to let it brown. After it browned I put the foil back on. Here's the best way to know when it's done-The internal temp is 160F. That's all you really have to know. How you get there will be a journey. I also let my Turducken rest for 45 minutes before carving.
Taste wise, it was extremely juicy and moist due to all the fat inside with the duck and chicken. My butcher also offered it stuffed, but I do not recommend it for food safety reasons. I always cook my stuffing outside the bird. I made a green chili/jalapeno stuffing that was a perfect match for the dish. You get pretty much solid meat when you start to carve, it's a bit strange at first, but all the meats meld together and taste delectable!