What is Turducken?
Turducken is a dish that combines everyone’s favorite holiday poultry—turkey, duck, and chicken. Each of the three birds is deboned, and then the chicken is stuffed inside the duck, which is then stuffed inside the turkey. There are layers of various dressings and seasonings between the birds. The final dish can weigh more than 15 pounds and feed as many as 25 people. This specialty cuisine has grown in popularity in Louisiana over the last few decades and is attracting attention from many areas outside the state. Turducken is available for purchase through many Louisiana butchers, and some retailers are able to ship nationwide.
The History of Turducken
The exact story of how the first turducken came to be isn’t clear. There are several variations of the story that credit different inventors, but the practice of stuffing whole animals with other animals has existed for centuries. In the specific case of the turducken, many credit Hebert’s Specialty Meats in Maurice, Louisiana. Nicknamed “the home of the deboned chickens,” Hebert’s Specialty Meats has been selling turducken for more than 25 years, and during the holiday season, Hebert’s Specialty Meats sells up to 200 turduckens every day. Chef Paul Prudhomme brought the turducken to the national stage in the 1980s and trademarked the term in 1986.
• Thaw completely.
• Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before cooking.
• Baste with melted bacon drippings.
• Tuck wings under to protect them from over-browning.
• Use a thermometer. The center must be cooked to 165°.
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