Turducken Time

Not your usual turkey.

Not your usual turkey.


Call me crazy, but I guess I am one of the few people out there who actually likes to eat turkey on Thanksgiving Day.

After all, if you take the time and spend the money to acquire one that’s pasture-raised, possibly even of heritage breed background, and cook it right, you are richly rewarded with meal upon meal of relatively lean, flavorful meat, and a large carcass just made for making gallons of soup.

Which is probably why I have never cooked a turducken.

Until now.

For those unfamiliar with this poultry mashup, it’s a deboned chicken stuffed into a deboned duck stuffed into a deboned turkey. It’s as if you invited a turkey to your holiday table and he brought a couple of inseparable friends.

When Echelon Foods, maker of five different types of turducken, offered me the chance to sample this baffling bird(s), I couldn’t pass it up.

I chose to test out its Original Turducken with Chicken Apple Sausage ($84.99). It’s a whole deboned turkey (that still has its wings and drumsticks attached), filled with chicken breasts, deboned duck and chicken-apple sausage stuffing.

It is shipped frozen, and it will take about a week to defrost in the fridge. Or you can water-bath it to speed the process along. So, it might not be ideal for this Thanksgiving — unless you hurry and have it Fed-Ex’d pronto. But there’s always Christmas.

My husband cooked the 10.2-pound turducken on low heat in his Big Green Egg. Although the cooking directions advised that an 11-pounder might take 7 hours to cook fully, ours was done in less than half that time.

You can spot the subtle layers of meat inside.

You can spot the subtle layers of meat inside.

From the outside, it looks like pretty much any other turkey. But cut into it and you’ll see the faint layers of different meats. You’ll have get about halfway through the body to really see the striations well.

The turkey taste is subtle. I’m not sure I even tasted the chicken much. The sausage comes through most prominently. And the duck gives the entire bird a much more dark meat-quality, which I like. In fact, I wish the chicken stuffed inside had been thigh meat, rather than breast for added flavor.

The turducken cooks up pretty moist. So much so that you don’t even need to make gravy for it.

It’s a novelty definitely worthy of being tried at least once. And for those for whom plain turkey just doesn’t tantalize, this may be just the bird(s) for them.

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