I must now have a Turducken

I know,  I know, Monday is supposed to be serious and about writing, but I simply cannot concentrate on serious right now.  Not now I know about the TURDUCKEN.

For those of you who were delicately culinarily nurtured, a turducken is a turkey which has been boned, then stuffed with a boned duck and a boned chicken.

No, I am not kidding.

There seems to be some difference of opinion as to whether the chicken is innermost, or the duck, and extra layers of stuffing between and inside the birds seem to be optional but really, the point is that this is one serious poultry fest.

Now, I know that many people probably think this is a little crass.  Sure, it’s kind of excessive and I believe it is very popular in the southern United States, a part of the world legendary for feasting on a scale that would have impressed Henry the 8th.

But there is part of me that LOVES this.  The very concept brings with it a kind of medieval magnificence that calls to the hostess in me.  I love the idea of carving straight down through a shiny golden turkey to reveal layer upon layer of difference shades of meat, interleaved with as many different stuffings as there are layers.

And the cook in me is seized by the challenge of cooking such a behemoth.  Ducks release a lot of fat during cooking, which is probably just as well, as this baby would have to be hard to cook all the way through without getting dry.  It’s unclear whether it would have to be basted every half hour or only every five minutes, but either way, I’m up for the challenge.  In fact, I would seriously consider installing a spit, pit pony and small boy for roasting and basting purposes, if that’s what it takes to do it properly.

And for that matter, if we’re going medieval, why stop at three birds?  I’m sure there are others that could be wedged in there.  What about a quail or two and maybe a goose?  According to Wikipedia, (whence cometh the photo above) this is a tradition of excess that goes back to Roman times (and there were some lads who knew about excess).  I’m sure I could find a recipe that includes more that three birds.  (Probably with forcemeat stuffing made of ground larks’ tongues, if it were medieval, but we might leave that bit out.)

And I don’t even care if my guests are so frightened by the concept that they have to be three sheets to the wind to come at it.  We’re going medieval here; beer will be provided on arrival, followed by rough reds aplenty.  It’s okay.  We won’t burn the house down.  The spit boy and the pony will be sober.

Or maybe I’m getting carried away.  Maybe I’ll just stick to a moderately sized Turducken, cooked in my regular oven and a nice glass of Chablis to wash it down.

See how restrained that sounds now? 😉

What about you?  What excessive foodstuffs that you know you shouldn’t do you have a hankering for?

No, seriously.  Tell me I’m not alone! 😉

15 thoughts on “I must now have a Turducken

  1. No, you’ve really gone too far. I don’t even understand anymore and what did those lovely roasted birds ever do to you, huh? What exactly are we talking as a side here, anyway? And garnish? I want to know exactly how outraged I should be.

    • Hmmm. Okay. Well, roasted root vegetables would be vital I feel. Potato, sweet, potato, turnip, parsnip, beetroot. A little pumpkin for colour. A vat or three of gravy, naturally. I’d like peas, but I’m not sure they’re authentically medieval. Maybe one of those bitter leaf salady things that they used to have – probably for digestive purposes. The traditional garnish would be the head and probably feathers of the bird, but since I don’t fancy salmonella, I might have to settle for lots of curly parsley around the edge and maybe some of those little frilly white hat things for the ends of his poor roasted turkey legs. What do you think?

  2. I know of the pure evil that is the Turducken. Some people even put sausages and bacon as layers between the duck, chicken and turkey. Mega super healthy! It certainly is the meal of Kings and Queens. It takes a brave individual to eat one of these things.

    • Let you in on a secret. I heard about it from a Southern gal, who on a TV show told the story of going to her rellies in Texas for Thanksgiving where there is always a Turducken but NOBODY DARES TO EAT IT. Until they are drunk, whereupon it becomes, apparently, all about the turducken. If there’s not a story in that, or at least a scene, I don’t know where there is one!

  3. Heston Blumenthal recreated a dish along the same lines as your turducken but bigger, with more layers, whatever chefs call it, each successive layer being a bigger animal. I’d never thought of the layering effect of the different coloured meats until you mentioned it but it would look effective. You’ll have to post a photo of your creation when it’s cooked. 🙂

  4. I’ve seen these advertised, wondered how they would turn out. Basting every five minutes implies extraordinary dedication, but you’re a writer, that requires more. Books are also multi-layered and “cooked” from within. Maybe that’s where your fascination with this dish springs from. Look forward to updates between now and the holidays.

    • Ah, Valerie, you are so kind, to imply it is a deep, writerly urge, rather than rampant greedy excess! 😉 I do wonder how the cooking would go, but as you point out, I have other things to get cooking before I fire up the pony and spit boy. 5,340 words to date. Must get cracking! 🙂

  5. Imelda, I don’t think anything I can think of would be as excessive as this turducken. Sounds rather bloated, if you ask me. Now if they can also stick the vegetable side dish inside, then it’d be worth it. 🙂

  6. Pingback: Giving Thanks | Wine, Women & Wordplay

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