The Turducken: Boneless Turkey Stuffed with a Boneless Duck and Boneless Chicken "One Big Bird"

Roasting time for The Turducken is 12 hours and preparation time is 5 to 6 hours...adding music and your favorite beverage will help!

Total Time:
18 hr
Prep:
5 hr
Inactive:
1 hr
Cook:
12 hr

Yield:
20 to 25 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • Andouille sausage stuffing:
  • 3 pounds coarsely ground pork
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch cayenne pepper, optional
  • Pinch chili pepper flakes
  • Pinch ground mace
  • Pinch ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Pinch ground bay leaf
  • Pinch ground sage
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons liquid smoke
  • 3 teaspoons bacon fat
  • For the Spinach stuffing:
  • 4 pounds frozen chopped spinach, thaw and remove excess liquid or 3 pounds freshly chopped spinach
  • 1/2 pound butter
  • 2 cups sauteed onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel seed
  • For the Turducken:
  • 1 (6-pound) fresh whole duck
  • 1 (4-pound) fresh whole chicken
  • 1 cup olive oil, divided
  • About 5 tablespoons blackening spice, divided
  • 1 (25-pound) fresh whole turkey
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped garlic
  • 5 pounds favorite cornbread dressing
  • Spinach stuffing
  • Andouille Sausage Stuffing
  • 3 whole roasted red bell peppers, cut into strips
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 quarts of your favorite turkey gravy
  • Special equipment:
  • Large roasting pan and rack
  • Parchment paper
  • Aluminum foil
  • 20 feet butcher's twine
  • Large sewing needle
Directions

For the Andouille Sausage Stuffing

In a large bowl, mix the ingredients, except the bacon fat, with some cold water. In a pan or flat-top, brown off sausage mixture in about 3 teaspoon bacon fat for flavor. Once sausage mixture is browned, chill immediately.

For the Spinach stuffing:

Melt butter in large skillet. Add all ingredients and saute for 5 minutes until hot. Set aside to cool.

Preparation of the Duck and Chicken:

It is wise to de-bone the duck and chicken first for practice. Place the fresh chicken breast side down on large cutting board. Starting at the bird's neck, you will cut through the skin along the length of the spine. Using the tip of the knife and starting from the neck end, separate the meat from rib cage on 1side. Disjoint wing from the shoulder blade and reserve for stock. Work towards the thigh bone, cut through the ball and socket joint and "pop" loose using upward pressure with your hand from under bird. Using thumbnail, loosen the "oyster meat" (most tender part) from frame. With knife, remove the thigh and leg bone, but keep the leg attached to the bird. Repeat process on other side of chicken.

When both sides are finished, the bird will lay flat. Grab rib cage by the neck area and gently pull towards back to remove entire carcass and breast bone cartilage.

Repeat same de-boning procedure for the duck.

In a well ventilated area or exhaust fan on high, preheat large cast iron pan to very hot.

Rub boneless chicken and duck with olive oil. Generously sprinkle with blackening spice on both sides. Place skin side down in pan for 1 to 2 minutes then turn over and repeat. Refrigerate.

Preparation of turkey:

Using the same de-boning procedure as the chicken and duck with 2 exceptions:

The turkey wings will be left attached to meat and the bone-in drumstick will be disjointed from the boneless thigh meat and left attached to meat. The final product should be a flat boneless turkey (except for the wings and drumsticks).

To stuff the Turducken:

Place the turkey skin side down on flat surface. Rub meat with 3 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh garlic and 1 tablespoon of blackening spice. Spread an even layer of cornbread dressing over the meat about 3/4-inch thick and pat down with hands. Spread 1/4-inch layer of Spinach Stuffing. Sprinkle with 2 cups Andouille Sausage Stuffing. On top, place 6 to 8 slices of roasted red bell peppers.

Place the chilled duck skin side down on top of layered stuffing. Repeat layered stuffing as above.

Arrange chilled chicken skin side down, on top of stuffed duck. Spread remainder of stuffing on top of chicken. Press down gently with hands to compact all ingredients.

To Truss the Turducken:

This may take another person's help...

Lift the sides of the turkey together. Have a helper hold the bird closed while sewing the back of the turkey together using butcher's twine making the stitches about 1-inch apart, starting at the back of turkey and working towards the neck.

Be careful since the Turducken has no boney frame, roll over breast side up and finish sewing the neck portion of bird. Tie off and cut twine.

Now sew up opening at leg section of turkey. Truss legs together with twine. For extra support, tie butcher's twine around the bird's width every 3 inches down along the bird's length.

Position your hands evenly under the Turducken and lift into a large roasting pan with rack inside. Pan should be at least 3 inches deep to catch drippings during cooking. Rub entire exposed skin of bird with 2 tablespoons of olive oil then sprinkle with 1 tablespoon blackening spice and salt.

Add 1/2 cup water to bottom of roasting pan. Wrap drumsticks with aluminum foil. Place parchment paper over entire bird. Loosely tent the roasting pan with aluminum foil.

Bake at 200 degrees F for 12 hours or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.

Remove all foil and parchment paper the last hour of roasting time and turn up temperature to 325 degrees F. Baste with drippings. When done, remove from oven and let set in roasting pan for at least 1 hour. With 2 heavy duty spatulas, insert underneath and remove Turducken from rack to place on carving platter. Remove all butcher twine...including pulling out the portion along the spine.

To serve, cut Turducken in half lengthwise, then cut servings crosswise in approximately 1-inch thicknesses. Serve with gravy and enjoy.

Professional Recipe: This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional and makes a large quantity. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe in the proportions indicated and therefore cannot make any representation as to the results.


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Pairs Well With
Cabernet Sauvignon

Rich, intense red wine

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    This recipe is featured in:

    Thanksgiving: On the Road