We've all got one; a group of friends who get together and talk about food, share recipes and techniques and generally shoot the shit. Ours just happens to be foul-mouthed and unabashed. This blog is a collaboration of authors (even occasionally male!) who share a love of booze, profanity, food and bitching.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Turduckening

I'd like to pretend that I'm such an awesome cook that this meal was simple as making toast. But in reality, this meal was as simple as making toast because this particular bird is literally idiot-proof. If you can make nasty frozen pizza, you can make this turducken.

When I first saw that my local butcher was offering turducken for the holidays, I called him up and asked him a couple questions: how big is it? How much is it? Do you have any suggestions for serving? He said they were frozen, so you needed to buy it two days in advance of preparing it for it to thaw out (not unlike a regular turkey). He also mentioned that it's extremely perishable and full of bacteria (duh, you've got a lot of surface area there for bacteria to hang out in), so don't get it a week in advance and let it hang out and ferment in your fridge.

But when I got there, instead of what I expected, I got this:

...Okay. Well. Who knew they had pre-made boxed turduckens for sale?

Turns out there's no work to this meal: they've thought of everything. It comes with it's own stuffing (which was waaaay inferior to Julie's recipe, which was devoured with alacrity by all the participants), but apparently you need stuffing in the bird to act as glue to hold the different poultries together. It's preseasoned, and if your bird didn't thaw out in the two days you gave it (as indeed it didn't in my case) they have directions for just such an eventuality.

So I cooked it for the six hours instead of the 4 1/2.

And here's how the beast turned out at the end:

This is with no extra oil or butter added; it browns beautifully on it's own. I baked it upside down to ensure that the breast meat stayed juicy.

I definitely advocate trying this at least once. The price might be prohibitive for some (mine was ~$80 for a 15-lb bird. On the other hand, how many times are you gonna make this? And how many people did it feed? And how much leftovers do I have?), but it's well worth it. This was a delicious bird. I did have two other problems that I'll admit to besides the bird not thawing out enough.

First problem was that I put the bird on a rack position too low in my oven and some of the drippings scorched. Not usually a big deal, as the turducken was on a rack in the roaster, but this was unfortunate for the gravy which turned out a little more dark and scorch-y tasting than I'd've preferred. Also, when you're making gravy out of the drippings (which I highly recommend! This was delicious even with it being slightly burnt), do not salt your gravy. Taste it before salting it. This was very salty from the combined meats, it did not need any more.

Second problem we had was one of inexperience carving it. I suggest removing the bird to a large platter and slicing it there. It kind of fell apart in the process of carving it, so there was a lot of piecing at the bird and diving for meat. But the whole thing turned out delicious, and our awesome friends provided excellent side dishes, and those of you reading this, I encourage you to share your side-dish recipes in the comments by all means, especially Thomas' sweet potatoes (which I am dangerously in love with).

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