Are you ready for a delicious alternative to the traditional Thanksgiving turkey, one filled with layer upon layer of delectable texture and flavor? Are you tired of the traditional turkey dinner that you have every year? Consider serving a turducken instead of your traditional Thanksgiving main dishes. Turduckens are savory, hearty alternatives to turkey, and they are packed with enough flavor and surprise to satisfy everyone.
Turduckens are basically a bird within a bird within a bird. The basic turducken starts with a fifteen- to twenty-pound boneless turkey, which is then packed with a five- to six-pound deboned duck, which, in turn, is stuffed with a three- to four-pound boneless chicken. As if this weren”t enough, each meaty cavity is also filled with stuffing. Turduckens are a gourmet alternative to Thanksgiving main dishes.
Stuffing for Turduckens
Turducken stuffing can run the gamut, from the most simple and basic Thanksgiving choices (such as a box of instant stuffing or cornbread mix) to homemade sausage or oyster stuffings. With countless recipes available, you should have no problem finding one to best meet your taste and budget.
Turducken Cooking Tips
Cooking a turducken may be time consuming, but it is not complicated. Most turduckens will take about eight or nine hours to cook, with an additional hour needed for cooling. Since the birds need to be deboned and due to the fact that many people enjoy preparing a variety of stuffings to put in their turduckens, it is important to organize the process to ensure a smooth and successful cooking experience.
You can choose from several cooking methods when deciding how to cook your turducken, including:
- slow cooking.
Do not deep-fry your turducken, as deep-frying requires the body cavity of a fowl to be hollow to ensure even cooking.
If you purchase a frozen, prepared turducken, you may want to consider the following cooking options:
- To cook frozen: Bake about eight to ten hours at 250?F in a deep, covered baking pan.
- To thaw and then cook: You can thaw your turducken in the refrigerator for three days and then bake at 225?F for eight to nine hours.
When cooking your turducken, use a meat thermometer to make sure it reaches 165?F.
If you aren”t quite sure how you will find the time to prepare your own turducken for Thanksgiving, why not get your family and friends involved in the process? Not only will you create a delicious alternative Thanksgiving main dish, but you will also build wonderful Thanksgiving memories.
Here are the steps you will need to follow to make an alternative to turkey that everyone will enjoy:
- Debone the birds.
- Prepare your seasoning mix. (This can be as simple as a salt, pepper and thyme mixture.)
- Prepare the stuffing. (You can either use a prepackaged stuffing, or make your own.)
- Spread turkey (skin side down) on a large table.
- Season the turkey with three to four tablespoons of seasoning mix.
- Cover turkey with an even layer of stuffing.
- Place duck (skin side down) directly on top of stuffing.
- Add approximately one tablespoon of seasoning mix to the duck.
- Cover the duck with stuffing.
- Place chicken (skin side down) on top of the duck.
- Season chicken with approximately one tablespoon of the seasoning mix.
- Cover the chicken with stuffing.
- Take each side of the turkey, bring them together and close. (You will need to tie, or truss up, the turkey using butcher”s twine.)
- Place turkey breast up. (It will somewhat resemble a normal turkey.)
- Bake turducken at 225?F for eight to nine hours or until a thermometer inserted in the center of the birds reads 165?F.
- Remove drippings every few hours to avoid a grease fire. Save the drippings to make gravy.
- Allow finished turducken to cool for one hour before serving.
How to Serve A Turducken
Serving a turducken is simple; justmake sure that you slice your turducken in a crosswise fashion so your guests can see all three birds layered with the stuffing. These alternatives to Thanksgiving main dishes make stunning presentations.
Cost of Turducken
If you want to experience the splendor of a turducken without the hassle of preparing one yourself, you can purchase one online for approximately $75 to $125. (The price will vary depending on weight, shipping choices, etc.) Turduckens are typically shipped frozen in a vacuum-sealed bag. Of course, you can serve a turducken for less money if you decide to make it yourself.
How to Get a Turducken
You can usually buy turduckens through local caterers, specialty gourmet shops or on the Internet. If you are preparing your own masterpiece, you should be able to find all of the components at your local supermarket or at a butcher”s shop.
As turduckens gain popularity, variations on the theme proliferate. While the basic turducken remains, you can also find turduckens with ethnic flavorings, spicy twists and creative designs.