The turducken: boneless turkey stuffed with a boneless duck and boneless chicken one big bird

  • Preparation Time300 mins
  • Cooking Time720 mins
  • Serves20
  • DifficultyMedium

For the Andouille sausage stuffing

1.4kg coarsely minced pork
1 1/2 tsp chopped garlic
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Pinch cayenne pepper, optional
Pinch chilli pepper flakes
Pinch ground mace
Pinch ground allspice
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp paprika
Pinch ground bay leaf
Pinch ground sage
2 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
3 tsp bacon fat

For the spinach stuffing

1,8kg frozen chopped spinach, thaw and remove excess liquid or 1.4kg freshly chopped spinach
225g butter
200g sauteed onion
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 tsp ground fennel seed

For the turducken

1 (2.7Kg) fresh whole duck
1 (1.8kg) fresh whole chicken
250ml olive oil, divided
About 5 tbsp blackening spice, divided
1 (11.3kg) fresh whole turkey
2 tbsp freshly chopped garlic
2.2kg favourite cornbread dressing
Spinach stuffing
Andouille Sausage Stuffing
3 whole roasted red peppers, cut into strips
2 tbsp salt
2L of your favourite turkey gravy
Special equipment:
Large roasting tin and rack
Greaseproof paper
Aluminium foil
6 metres butcher's twine
Large sewing needle
1) For the Andouille sausage stuffing In a large bowl, mix the ingredients, except the bacon fat, with some cold water.

2) In a pan or flat-top, brown off sausage mixture in about 3 teaspoon bacon fat for flavour. Once sausage mixture is browned, chill immediately.

For the spinach stuffing:

1) 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:

1) 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 one side.

2) 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.

3) With knife, remove the thigh and leg bone, but keep the leg attached to the bird. Repeat process on other side of chicken.

4) 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.

5) Repeat same de-boning procedure for the duck.

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

7) 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:

1) 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:

1) 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.

2) Spread an even layer of cornbread dressing over the meat about 2-cm thick and pat down with hands. Spread 1-cm layer of spinach stuffing. Sprinkle with 200g Andouille sausage stuffing.

3) On top, place 6 to 8 slices of roasted red peppers.

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

5) 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 and roast the turducken:

Note: This may take another person's help.

1) 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 2.5-cm apart, starting at the back of turkey and working towards the neck.

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

3) 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.

4) 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.

5) Add 250ml water to bottom of roasting pan. Wrap drumsticks with aluminium foil. Place greaseproof paper over entire bird. Loosely tent the roasting pan with aluminium foil.

6) Bake at 100C/Gas 1/4 for 12 hours or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.

7) Remove all foil and paper the last hour of roasting time and turn down temperature to 160C/Gas 3. Baste with drippings.

8) When done, remove from oven and let set in roasting tin for at least 1 hour.

9) 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 2.5-cm thicknesses. Serve with gravy and enjoy.

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