How to Make a Turducken

What is a Turducken? A Turducken is a turkey, stuffed with a duck, stuffed with a chicken. Turducken is a dish popular in Louisiana. After reading this article you will be able to (and should) make a Turducken. You will not be told, however, how to eat it, or how to make gravy. Read this thoroughly, as if you were instructing someone, before attempting the recipe. It's a long process that requires a lot of work!

Ingredients

  • ~17 lb. turkey
  • ~7 lb. duck
  • ~3 lb. chicken
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 1 c. salt
  • 2 gallons (7.6 L) water
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 celery ribs
  • dash sage
  • ¼ tsp rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 peppercorns
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 15 oz. seasoned dried bread cubes
  • 8 oz. butter
  • 2 c. Turducken stock
  • Canola oil

Steps

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    Rinse the birds.
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    Bone the birds. This is difficult to describe, so read these instructions and watch videos below as well.
    • Place the bird breast side down on cutting board.
    • Make an incision to the bone on the right or left side of the spine.
    • Following the rib cage, cut down along the length of the bird until you reach the level of the wing and leg joints.
    • Pop the wing and leg out of their sockets and separate from bird. Do not cut the skin.
    • Continue following the rib cage with your boning knife until you meet the keel bone.
    • Follow the keel bone down to the skin of the breast.
    • Repeat on other side.
    • Separate the skin from the keel, keeping the skin intact.
    • For all birds, except the turkey, do the following on both sides of the bird:
      • Cut along the leg bone with the boning knife.
      • Using the boning knife, peel the meat from the bones and remove the bones.
      • Cut along the wing bone with the boning knife.
      • Using the boning knife, peel the meat from the bones and remove the bones.
    • Set aside the carcasses.
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    Brine the birds. Combine the sugar, salt and water in a large 2.5 gallon (9.5 L) sealable container. Mix until completely dissolved. Place the meat from the turkey, duck and chicken into the brine and refrigerate overnight.
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    Make the stock. Put the carcasses, carrots, celery ribs, sage, rosemary, bay leaves, peppercorns, garlic cloves, halved onion and two gallons of water into the stockpot. Place the collapsible steamer basket upside down on top of the contents of the stockpot. Weigh down if necessary. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and simmer up to 6 hours (until bones are easily broken), stirring occasionally. Pour pot contents through sieve into large resealable container. Refrigerate stock overnight and in the morning, remove the solid fat layer.
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    Remove the meat from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature.
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    Make stuffing. Heat the butter and 2 cups of Turducken stock in saucepan until almost boiling. Thoroughly mix with bread cubes in mixing bowl. Allow to cool until it can be handled.
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    Assemble the Turducken.
    • Lay the semi-boneless turkey on a cutting board, skin side down.
    • Dust with pepper and garlic powder.
    • Coat with a ¼ to ½ inch thick layer of stuffing.
    • Lay the boneless duck on the stuffing layer, skin side down.
    • Dust with pepper and garlic powder.
    • Coat with a ¼ to ½ inch thick layer of stuffing.
    • Lay the boneless chicken on the stuffing layer, skin side down.
    • Dust with pepper and garlic powder.
    • Coat with a ¼ to ½ inch thick layer of stuffing.
    • Fold the chicken, fold the duck, then fold the turkey so that the skin of the back comes together.
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    Close the Turducken.
    • Insert a skewer along the back of the skin to keep it together.
    • Insert a skewer along the rear end of the turkey, closing the end.
    • Insert a skewer from the right breast side to the top skewer.
    • Insert a skewer from the left breast side to the top skewer.
    • Tie string to top center skewer, run it along the skewer to the left side of the end, then wrap string around the right side of the rear skewer, then wrap string around the left side of the rear skewer, then wrap string around right side of rear middle skewer. Follow right side of center skewer to end, hook around the skewer and wrap around the end of the left breast side skewer. Then bring across to the right breast side skewer, then follow right breast side skewer to left side of center skewer, then follow to end of center skewer where you will tie the string to the skewer.
    • Make sure the string is tight around the skewers.
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    Roast the Turducken. Coat the rack in the roasting pan with canola oil (to prevent sticking). Flip the Turducken over as you place it on top of the rack in the roasting pan. Rub bird with canola oil. Insert thermometer into the chicken area of the Turducken. Place in 500 degree oven and roast for 20 minutes. Drop the temperature to 225 degrees and roast until the thermometer reads 160 degrees (the residual heat of the Turducken will carry over the 5 degrees to the FDA recommended 165 degrees for poultry). Let the Turducken rest for 20 minutes.
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    Serve the Turducken. Cut off the legs and wings and place them on the platter. Cut across breast with electric knife, creating slices with all three meats and move to plate or platter with the pancake turner.
Assembling

Cooking