Christmas is just a few days away, which means there's still time to make a Turducken! For those unfamiliar with the term, a Turducken is a Chicken inside a Duck inside a Turkey. Stinky shows us how in this easy step-by-step guide on how to make a Turducken. It might take a while, but the results are well worth it!
Recipe bitches... Turducken is an amazing dish that is virtually unknown creation here in Australia, but over in the USA it has a cult following, especially with the cajun and BBQ enthusiasts. A Turducken is a whole turkey, stuffed with a whole duck, stuffed with a chicken. There can be as many as 3 different traditional stuffings throughout the bird as well.
An important health warning goes here, with our high ambient temperatures it can be quite dangerous to prepare and cook a Turducken from scratch as you run the risk of the poultry spending too much time at the dangerous temperatures where bacteria grown quickly ( 4 to 60 Celcius. To reduce these risks you should ask your butcher to debone the birds for you, as they have a cold-room to work in. To further reduce these risks you should also brine your birds, creating a slightly salty environment that bacteria don't like.
Ask your butcher to completely debone a chicken and a duck. You also want a Turkey deboned but with the leg bone and the wing bones left intact. Emphasize to the butcher the importance of keeping the birds, especially the turkey in a single piece. Deboning a bird can be quite a difficult task, but most butchers should be capable of it.
Smoked Turducken with Spicy Pork Stuffing
* 1 whole deboned turkey
* 1 whole deboned chicken
* 1 whole deboned duck
* Basic BBQ Rub
* 2 kg pork mince ( preferably mince it yourself from pork belly or shoulder ).
* 2kg rindless bacon
You'll want to start preparing the turducken 36 hours before cooking. Assuming you're cooking it Saturday, you'll want to start on Thursday night by brining the birds. First check all the birds that all the bones have been removed. Brine each bird separately in large ziplock bags for 12 hours. Brine is basically a salty water mix that the birds soak in, this helps tenderize the birds and keep the whole turducken nice and moist. If you don't know how to make a brine check here.
24 hours before cooking it's time to prepare the stuffing. To make it easy I chose to do just a single stuffing. mix your pork mince with a fair quantity of the BBQ rub. Use as little or as much as you like to achieve your preference in spicyness. Have a hot frypan handy and fry up small amounts to taste as you add more seasoning.
Once the pork is to your liking, grab out your turkey. Given the size of the birds I've found it's best to plastic wrap your whole benchtop and work with it on that. This helps keep gross raw food off the bench, and also helps you close up the bird when assembled. Sprinkle the plastic generously with the BBQ rub and Lay your turkey skinside down on it. Cover the turkey inside with a thin layer of stuffing.
Lay the Duck skinside down on the turkey, and cover this with a thin layer of stuffing also.
Finally Lay the chicken skinside down on the duck and cover with a thin layer of stuffing.
This next bit can be tricky and is best done with some assistance. You need to close the turducken up. I found the best way to do this is to close each bird in turn ( chicken, then duck, then turkey ) by folding one half over the other half. Once this is done use some cooking twine to tie the bird closed. It can be useful to tie the legs together at this point as well.
Sprinkle the BBQ rub over the turkey trying to make sure the whole bird is covered with it. Wrap the Turducken with the plastic wrap it's sitting on, or use fresh stuff if there's a lot of raw juices and liquid.
Refrigerate the Turducken for about 24 hours. This helps firm the bird into shape.
Get a large foil baking dish and punch some holes through it. This will allow excess fat to escape. Layer the bottom of the dish with bacon. Put the Turducken in the tray with the closed up side facing down. The weight of the bird should assist in keeping it closed. Layer bacon over the turducken, this total coverage of the Turducken with bacon helps keep it moist, and also helps make sure the turducken doesn't burn ( the bacon is sacrificial and can be thrown out after cooking ).
Put the turducken in a smoker or oven pre-heated to 105 C. Cook it until it reaches an internal temperature of 82 C. This could take up to 8 hours depending on the overall size of the Turducken. Oh and don't forget to put a tray under it to catch the fat dripping out of the holes in the pan.
When the Turducken is cooked, rest it covered with foil for 30 minutes and then slice lengthways down the middle. Slice again the other way so that the bird is in quarters. Take each quarter and slice into reasonably thick slices ( too thin and the layers of birds will threaten to fall apart ). You can leave the bacon on, or throw it out taste it and decide. You'll also want to remove the wings and legs, I'm sure you'll find somebody willing to eat them.