Turducken

Difficulty: advanced
Serves: 8-10

Typically found in Louisiana, Turducken is simply a turkey that is stuffed with a duck which is stuffed with a chicken, and all have different stuffing’s and it is cooked close to 8 hours and sliced crosswise. This recipe doesn’t make use of the typical dressings or stuffing’s used for poultry, rather offers three different ones that combine the best of the holidays. If you have a favorite stuffing recipe, please feel free to use it. I have included a separate stuffing recipe that goes well with any of the birds used.

Ingredients for a Turducken:
1 15 lb turkey, de boned
1 5 lb duck, de boned
1 3lb chicken de boned
Tony Chacheres Seasoning
Olive Oil for coating birds
Cranberry Stuffing Recipe for Turkey
Andouille and Crawfish Stuffing for Duck
Sausage, Sage, Oyster Cornbread stuffing for Chicken
Twine and needle for sewing
Bones from the Turkey, Duck, Chicken to make a Stock

You can ask your butcher to de bone the turkey, duck or chicken for you or you can do it yourself. Be sure to de-bone the leg and wing cavities so you can stuff them with the stuffing. The turkey being the largest bird, is easier to see the layout of the bones and what you are dealing with. I suggest you consult a professional text on de boning birds to do it accurately or look on the web for further instructions. Keep the turkey and chicken giblets and liver for use in the stuffing recipes. Here are the steps to follow to produce a Turducken.

De bone the birds, reserving the bones for stock
Make the stock
Prepare the Stuffing’s and refrigerate
Assemble the Turducken and refrigerate if necessary until ready to bake
Bake the Turducken


Stock:
Roast the bones of the turkey, duck and chicken in a roasting pan in an oven at 400 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until brown and caramelized.
2 gallons of cold water
4 stalks of celery
8 thyme twigs
1 bay leaf
8 black peppercorns
2 whole garlic cloves peeled

Place the roasted bones and rest of ingredients in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a slight simmer. Skim the top every 15 minutes or so to remove the scum that accumulates on top. Simmer for four hours. Strain the stock through a fine mesh sieve. Pour into smaller containers and refrigerate to induce a faster cooling time or fill your sink with ice water and set pot in ice bath. Remove the fat once cool. Stock is ready to be used. (note: add more hot water as necessary as the stock cooks to keep the bones submerged)



Stuffing Recipes

Cranberry Stuffing Recipe for the Turkey

1 16 oz package of commercial store bought herb stuffing mix, any variety
2 1/2 cups of chicken stock (stock recipe)
1 stick of butter
4 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1 cup of chopped celery cooked
Giblets and liver chopped
1 small sweet onion chopped
1 lb of pork sausage, cooked and drained
1 tablespoon of butter
2 Tablespoons of sage
1 teaspoon of onion salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 6 oz packages of Fresh cranberry relish or fresh cranberry sauce (found in deli section)

Prepare the stuffing according to package directions using freshly made chicken stock, butter. In a separate pan, cook the sausage until done. Remove sausage from pan and add in 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the giblets, liver, onions, celery to the pan and cook until celery is slightly transparent and liver and giblets are cooked through. Remove from heat. Add in the boiled chopped eggs, cooked sausage, seasonings, garlic and cranberry sauce. Mix together and fluff with fork, Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Andouille and Crawfish Stuffing
1 lb of Andouille sausage, chopped small
1 lb of cooked crawfish tail meat with fat
4 cups of cubed toasted stale French bread
1 small onion, chopped
6 tablespoons of butter
Milk to moisten Bread cubes
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of Thyme
Salt to taste

Cook the onions in one tablespoon of butter. Add the crawfish with the fat and liquid and the sausage. Cook just until warmed through. Remove from pan and place in a bowl. In same pan add the rest of the butter and melt. Toss in the bread crumbs with the seasonings. Cook in butter until lightly browned. Remove and place in the bowl with the sausage and crawfish. Add the bread crumbs and moisten the stuffing with milk until bread is soft but not mushy. Stuff duck and if you have any remaining stuffing place in a pan and bake separately for 30 minutes covered at 350 F.

Sage and Oyster Cornbread Stuffing For Chicken
This recipe makes a lot of stuffing. Reserve the rest of the stuffing to bake as a side dish once you are finished stuffing the chicken. Baste the stuffing as you baste the Turducken with its pan juices
2 packages of Jiffy Corn Bread Mix
2 eggs
2/3 cup of milk
Follow instructions on cornbread package. Bake cornbread. Let cool. Once completely cool, crumble.
4 stalks of celery, diced
2 hard boiled eggs chopped
2 tablespoons of butter
1 cup of salt pork chopped
1 cup of button mushrooms, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Gizzard and chicken livers chopped
2 teaspoons of sage
½ sweet onion chopped
4 cans of oysters with liquor drained and reserved
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1 teaspoon of onion powder
Chicken Stock to make it moist approximately 2 cups depending.

Cook the celery, onions, chicken livers, oysters and gizzards in butter. Add in the seasonings, mushrooms, eggs, garlic, salt pork and oyster liquor. Toss with cornbread and mix with enough chicken stock to make it moist. Stuff chicken and place the rest in a large baking pan. Bake, covered at 350 F. for one hour or until done.

Stuffing the Turkey:
Preheat the oven to 225 F.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Tony Chacheres Creole Seasoning
Rub both sides of the turkey with the olive oil and season both sides with Tony Chacheres. Stuff the Turkey legs and wing sections with the cranberry stuffing. Spread flat and pat more Cranberry stuffing into the center cavity. Repeat this same process with the duck using the Andouille, Crawfish Stuffing and the Chicken using the Sage Oyster Cornbread Stuffing. Gather the sides of the turkey and sew it up. Place in a roasting pan small enough so the Turducken retains its shape in cooking. Roast the turducken basting with pan juices until an instant read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165. This will take anywhere from 6 to 8 hours to cook depending on the size of the birds. Let the Turducken rest before carving, about 45 minutes. Slice crosswise. Serve with additional stuffing’s and gravy of choice. . Spread stuffing on the inside cavity. Repeat same procedure with Duck using the Boudin Stuffing and same with Chicken using the Cornbread Oyster Stuffing. Sew the turkey up and place in a roasting pan large enough to hold the Turducken. Bake at 350 degrees F or 12 minutes per pound, about 8 hours. Be sure to baste the turducken as it cooks with the pan juices.

Chef Mary Beth Lawton Johnson is a Certified Executive Pastry Chef and Certified Chef de Cuisine, member of the American Culinary Federation, IACP, The James Beard Foundation and the World Association of Chef's Societies. Chef Johnson is also owner and founder of Creative Arts and Media, a full service media company specializing in food styling, food artistry and photography for all forms of media from print to television.


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