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Oct 6, 2007 07:46 AM

Turducken Advice?

We are going to have Turducken for Thanksgiving this year (first time---so excited), and I am wonderiing which was to go...Order one from one of the many Cajun companies who will ship them overnight OR Have a butcher debone the birds and do the rest myself.
Any thoughts? Advice? Recommendations?

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  1. This is probably not what you're hoping to hear -- but I'd STRONGLY recommend sticking with turkey. Our friends brought a turducken from New Orleans, where they live, to a New Years dinner at our home a couple of years back, and it was really BLAH -- not evenly cooked, not even nice looking on the plate. Maybe it was the way we received it -- it was purchased from a supposedly reliably good source (I can't recall the name) where it had been prepared, cooked and flash frozen, as they do for shipping. We only had to heat it and slice it. Maybe our limited experience with turducken was not typical, but I fail to see what all the hooplah is about. It seems more "gimicky" than good. I'd gladly take a nicely roasted turkey over turducken any day.

    1 Reply
    1. re: CindyJ

      CindyJ, I completely agree with you! I have a hardcore turducken loving friend, so we've all had this a number of times. It always turns out tasting like... chicken... (personal opinion, sorry to all the other turducken lovers out there!)

    2. I'd try to do it myself. You could use dressings you like, flavors you prefer, and it sounds like fun to me. I bone my own chickens occasionally and stuff them with rice or bread dressing or whatever, and they are always a winner. The other day, as I was working on my chicken, I thought, it couldn't be much harder to do a couple more birds and types of dressing to make my own turducken. I may yet do it!

      1. Last Thanksgiving I took the "have the butcher debone the birds" route and the meal was a success. The stuffing was nothing fancy whatsoever; no sausage stuffing, for instance, tho I did alternate cornbread and traditional between the layers. Even without tackling the deboning it was a hell of a lot of work. The result was a meal everyone enjoyed and more leftovers than ever given that there's really so much meat! If you're excited about it, definitely give it a try.

        Anyone contemplating doing it start-to-finish on their own owes it to themselves to review this story:

        Enjoy, KP.

        1. As someone who lives in the New Orleans area and has had one too many turduckens, I would agree with the poster that it is not as good as a brined oven roasted or fried turkey. However, it is an interesting twist to the traditional bird, and one worth trying once. The pros and cons of buying the premade Turducken are thus: Pro- Comes out beautiful looking and does not require much effort to cook. Con- Will not taste like you are expecting/ meats usually dry out. The stuffing they use here is usually a bland rice based dressing. If you do it yourself you can make your own stuffing and spice it up. This being said, my dad who lives in another state takes one back every year to his office for a big holiday dinner. Everyone seems to love it, but I think it is more the novelty than the taste.

          4 Replies
          1. re: mtleahy

            Yep, I also think it is more of a novelty item. Do a search on this board and you will find a couple of threads from Thanksgivings past re the pros and cons.

            For those who enjoy making this at home - how do you get past the problem of the two internal layers of soggy, flabby skin? Ugh...

            1. re: LizATL

              I was really worried about the skin but it seems the long cooking process melts it away - I've done 3 turduckens and no sign of yucky skin (although I do trim a lot away) - also I used to make a huge terrine (corned tongue inside a capon inside a goose with forcemeat at each step then surrounded in hard pastry) - same thing - even the thick goose skin melted away.

              1. re: ElizabethS

                That is really interesting. The one time I had a homemade one, the skin(s) were unplesant. I wonder if it wasn't cooked enough or at high enough heat. And the person who made it is a very good cook...curious...

                1. re: LizATL

                  From what I've seen, some of the Louisiana Turduken markets are removing the skin from the chicken and the duck. I had Whole Foods make me one that way with a spicy cornbread stuffing, and it was great. I don't consider it a "novelty" item at all, and neither do the cajuns I know in the Houma/Montegut area. With that being said, I've come to find out that Deep Fried turkey (breast, drumsticks, and thighs) are my favorite way to cook a turkey now.

          2. I used the NY Times recipe two years in a row at Christmas (brought back by popular demand) - I like to debone and if you have patience and reasonable knife skills it is really straightforward. (I didn't use their stuffing recipes - used my own - one sausage and a traditional bread)

            It was fun and showy to serve but I preferred regular turkey - I was a lone voice though.

            Following are link to the NY Times article and recipe and I'll try to upload some pics



            5 Replies
            1. re: ElizabethS

              My God the photos worked! They've never worked for me before! - here's the final serving shot

              1. re: ElizabethS

                And one more from the previous year

                  1. re: ElizabethS

                    Thanks for these wonderful pictures. I've always wondered what a prepared turducken looks like!

                    1. re: ElizabethS

                      Those are great pictures Elizabeths I always wondered how it looked side view. Really gives us a better idea of what all the fuss is about. I'd be willing to try it after seeing your photos~ Thank you!