Sunday, January 10, 2016

Turducken Cover

Our household hosted Audrey's sister Betty and her family for Christmas this year, then decamped to Tara and Jerry's house on the 27th for a couple of days, with Mum joining us from B.C.. At thanksgiving, Tara and Jerry had prepared the turkey while we brought the sweet potatoes, but the promo email from Costco introduced a neat variation to the affair: their turducken was on sale.


In case you haven't encountered one before, the turducken is a deboned chicken, stuffed into a deboned duck, stuffed into a deboned turkey. Any remaining space is crammed with stuffing, and then whole affair is roasted up at once. The name is a portmanteau of the three different birds, and the technique is described in Wikipedia as engastration, wherein one animal is cooked inside the gastric cavity of another, which is both technically correct and altogether off putting, so let us speak no more of it.


I'd heard of this mythical fowl before, but was unsure if we would ever get a chance to sample it. Even the modest 4 kilo version I saw advertised was supposedly enough to feed 15 people, but leftovers are a part of the Christmas holiday experience, so Tara and I agreed that this was probably a great idea.


It arrived about a week before dinner on the 28th, which is good, as it is frozen solid, shipped with dry ice, and so dense that it takes 5 days to thaw in the refrigerator. It is extremely compact looking, but since there are no bones, the size is a bit deceiving.


Cooking instructions are provided, and slow, low heat in the oven is recommended, although you can cook it more quickly if needed, or on the grill if wanted, but Tara elected to keep things simple, which seemed wise. It came out of the oven looking absolutely delightful.


Jerry got to work carving it, removing the drumsticks (the only bones in the whole thing) bisecting it down its length initially, then slicing it across its access, ensuring every portion contained a combination of turkey, chicken, duck, and Italian sausage stuffing.

Taste-wise, it is a very neat dish, although I would have a hard time telling you how much was chicken and how much was turkey. The duck was also kind of easy to miss amongst the incredibly rich and spicy stuffing, so to be honest, the turducken wasn't really to everyone's taste. Still, with a little luck, you will have a group on hand that is comfortable sharing, and you can divide things up in a favourable fashion a la Jack Sprat. Turkey purists should probably be given first dibs on the drumsticks.

As promised, there were plenty of leftovers to take away the next day, and yes, you can make a fairly effective sandwich with turducken, provided the additional bread from the stuffing inside the sandwich is not a deal breaker for you.


I would not be in any hurry to purchase a turducken again, but I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to try one, and it added a bit of wonder and anticipation to a family holiday meal; it's hard to ask for more, really.


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