What's a Turducken? How do you make a Turducken?



A Turducken is a chicken inside a duck, inside a turkey.   Sounds complicated but it's not really!   We found lots of web sites with detailed instructions that were frightfully long and complicated.  Here is our more basic (but adequate) recipe, including hints (highlighted in bold red) that we haven't seen elsewhere.  Times and measures are for 17 Lb Turkey, 5 Lb Duck, 4 Lb Chicken. 


T - 2 days. Prepare your favorite stuffing. Sausage and cornbread versions are great. You'll need 10 cups. T - 1 day. De bone turkey, duck, and chicken. They have very similar anatomy. Start with the duck. Save bones for gravy base. D-day. Coat each bird interior with garlic- paprika- thyme- oregano- etc mix. Then spread stuffing on turkey interior. Lay it on thick.


The de-boning of the birds is the one step most likely to stymie you.  The trick is to learn the bone anatomy and not rush.  Since the anatomy of all three birds is similar the 2nd and 3rd birds will be easier.  Start with the duck since it is most forgiving to inexperienced surgeons.  Put bird down on its back, slit open breast top and proceed to de-bone, keeping knife tip as close to bone as possible.  Scraping with knife, as opposed to cutting may help in certain areas.  On duck and chicken: cut wings off, carefully slit and de-bone legs, keeping meat connected to body.  On turkey: leave wings and legs intact for a traditional turkey look. 

 Lay duck, skin down over the turkey, then another layer of stuffing, then chicken, and then yet another layer of stuffing. Roll it up, tie it up, and sew it shut. Use cheese cloth to cover gap that won’t close completely. Ready to cook. Hopefully you got to this stage 10 hours before your guests arrive. Otherwise they'll be eating only cheese and crackers.

Put the whole thing in a brown bag. Bag will keep the bird moist. Stick in the meat thermometer.   In the oven, set to 200 degrees. Watch meat temperature. It's done perfect at 165 degrees - not one degree more!! Cooking time was 10 hours.  Out of the oven, still wrapped in brown bag. Unwrap bag very slowly, very carefully to avoid tearing delicate construction.

Finally: Out of the bag. Cover with foil and let rest one hour. For carving: slice the bird down the middle, then cut thick slices width-wise.




© 2003 R. Abileah