How to Cook a Turducken
Forget a Turkey, if there is one dish every man needs to try to cook in his life (and make it well), it’s a Turducken. That’s right – a Duck, stuffed in a Chicken, stuffed in a Turkey – the mighty Turducken!
This single-pot recipe results is the combination of a tender, juicy bird and a crispy, golden brown skin, guaranteed to make you forget about the old plain-jane Turkey dish your mother used to make.
Throw in some innovative stuffing, a few root vegetables, maybe even some beer or spirits, and voilà, you’ve got one of the most epic meals your dinner guests will ever sink their teeth into!
The Details on Cooking a Turducken
This dish consists of a de-boned chicken stuffed inside of a de-boned duck, which is stuffed inside a 15 to 16 pound turkey. In between the layers of meat are three different recipes of stuffing. When you cut through the cooked turkey, you will see the layers of meats and stuffing.
Some Items You Will Need:
- Roasting Tray
- Roasting Wire Rack
- Meat Thermometer
- Aluminium Foil / Tin Foil
- Turkey Baster
- Large Stuffing Bowls
- Cutting Knives
- Large Cutting Board
- Carving Knife
Buying Your Birds
You have two options for buying the turducken:
The first, is to purchase each bird in whole (with bones in). This option will be less expensive because you will have to debone the chicken, duck and turkey on your own. If you are an experienced cook, you’ll most likely be alright with this. But, if you’ve never deboned a bird before, here is a video on how to debone a chicken.
The second option for you is to have your butcher debone the birds for you. This will cost slightly more, but will save you a lot of time and energy. This is usually the option I choose.
Preparing the Duck, Chicken and Turkey
Now that your birds are deboned, you’ll need to add the stuffing. You should prepare the stuffing ahead of time so that it is ready for this step. Begin by stretching out the turkey on a cutting board. Add a thin layer of stuffing over the turkey, making sure you stay within the edges. Next, put the chicken over the turkey and stuffing. Again, you’ll add a layer of stuffing to the chicken. Make sure not to apply too much, maybe a half of an inch. Finally, you will add the duck and the stuffing over that.
With all of that complete, you will need to roll up the birds and stitch them closed. This is the same process you would use to close up a regular turkey. Now you’re ready to get cooking!
It’s Time to Cook the Turducken
Place the prepared, stuffed and seasoned Turducken breast-side up in the roasting pan on the roasting wire rack. The turkey roasting pan should be a minimum of 2 to 2 ½ inches deep. Make sure to tuck the wing tips under the shoulders of the turkey.
The Turducken needs to be cooked slowly and at a low temperature to allow the interior to get fully cooked without burning the outside of the turkey. You will need to preheat your oven to 225 degrees before placing the Turducken into the oven.
Place the Turducken on the center oven rack and bake for 4 hours uncovered. Make sure to baste the bird frequently. Then brush the skin with olive oil and cover with aluminium foil. Cook the Turducken an additional 4 to 5 hours or until the meat thermometer of the inside of the turkey reads 165 degrees. NOTE: Cooking times will vary depending on the size of your turkey, chicken and duck.
When the Turducken is fully cooked, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool. Remember, the turducken will still cook slightly once you have taken it out of the oven.
Congratulations, You Have Just Cooked a Turducken!
Once the turducken has had a chance to cool and your dinner guests are salivating for the bird, it’s time to carve your turducken. When carving your dish, it will look delicious as you see all the layers of dressing and meats. Enjoy!
Image Credit: Flickr – MrFlip