What is turducken? It is a chicken stuffed inside a duck which is then stuffed inside a turkey. The term turducken comes from the combination of tur(key), duck, and (chick)en. It’s fast becoming a popular recipe for Thanksgiving. Each slice contains portions of chicken, duck, and turkey with stuffing in between the layers. Plan on adequate preparation time. Turducken is not difficult to make, but it is a little time-consuming. The end result is a worthy show-stopper.
Prep Time: 60 minutes
Cook Time: 240 minutes
Total Time: 300 minutes
Yield: 12 to 14 servings
• 2-3/4 cups prepared savory bread stuffing, at room temperature, divided use
• 2 cups prepared cornbread stuffing, at room temperature, divided use
• 1/4 cup chopped pecans
• 1/2 cup whole berry cranberry sauce
• 1 (10 to 12-pound) turkey, deboned
• 1 (4 to 5-pound) duck, deboned
• 1 (3 to 4 pound) chicken, deboned
• 4 Tablespoons butter
• 3 cloves garlic, cut in quarters
• 6 fresh sage leaves
• 2 Tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
• 1 Tablespoon browning sauce (such as Kitchen Bouquet)
• 1 Tablespoon olive oil
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Have the turkey, duck, and chicken already deboned (save the bones for stock) before you begin to assemble the turducken. Keep all of the poultry refrigerated until you are ready to use it. Do not assemble turducken until you are ready to bake it in order to avoid foodborne illness from contaminated stuffing. Measure out 2-1/4 cups of bread stuffing and set aside. Place remaining 1/2 cup of bread stuffing in another bowl and add 1/2 cup of the cornbread stuffing along with the whole berry cranberry sauce, and pecans. Toss gently to combine. Place remaining 1-1/2 cups cornbread stuffing aside. You should have 3 separate stuffing’s.
-In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine butter, garlic, sage, and thyme until herbs are finely chopped.
-Run your hand under the skin to separate and make a pocket, but do not separate skin completely from the meat. Distribute the butter herb mixture evenly under the skin.
-Rub the skin of the turkey with the browning sauce (promotes even browning but doesn’t add flavor), then the olive oil. Sprinkle generously with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
-Flip the turkey over so it is open and skin-side down. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
-Preheat oven to 300 F.
-Spread bread stuffing evenly over turkey cavity. Place duck on top of bread stuffing, skin-side down. Spread cranberry nut stuffing on top of open duck cavity. Top with chicken, skin-side down.
-Spread cornbread stuffing on top of open chicken cavity. Skewer the back of the chicken closed. Bring up the sides of the duck to cover the chicken. Skewer the back of the duck closed. Repeat process with the turkey. Carefully turn the turducken over, so it is seam-side down and breast-side up. Remove all skewers except the last one holding the turkey together.
-Place turducken in a heavy roaster. Roast 3 to 4 hours, until meat thermometer inserted in the very center of the chicken stuffing reaches 165 F. Baste once per hour with pan juices. If turducken begins to get too brown, tent loosely with heavy-duty aluminum foil that has been coated with vegetable spray.
-Let turducken rest 30 minutes before carving. To serve, slice turducken across the breast to show off each layer.
-Yield: 12 to 14 servings
Enjoy, Dean Stefanic