Turkey/stuffing/duck/stuffing/chicken = turducken
I typically toss the freebies and swag into the garbage or put them out on my desk for co-workers to devour. But when the folks at Echelon Foods (a former Canadian company that has moved to Chicago) asked if they could send me an Original Turducken, I was intrigued. I had never had one, let alone cooked one, and the thought of a duck inside a chicken inside a turkey – with layers of breadcrumb and sausage stuffing for extra richness – proved an irresistible allure.
The birds arrive frozen, in vacuum-sealed bags. The instructions say you need five days to defrost it in the fridge, or 24-36 hours in cold running water. They claim to feed between 10 and 25 people, depending on their size, and start at $75. There’s no MSG or preservatives, and they come with your choice of either a spicy Italian sausage and bread stuffing, or with a chicken apple sausage and bread version.
Apart from the drumsticks and wings, the full turducken is completely boneless, and when sliced in the proper direction, reveals a cross section of every component ensuring everyone receives some duck, chicken, turkey, and stuffing. I asked a dozen friends to come over and give it a try. I roasted it at 300 degrees for about seven hours, basting it with melted butter just once, checking the internal temperature near the leg joints, and pulled it out of the oven when it hit 155 degrees, knowing it would carryover and continue to cook as it rested. The knife sliced through effortlessly, revealing a fine vivisection of the poultry trio and their complementary layers of chicken apple sausage stuffing. There was general agreement that this bird was, indeed, moist and juicy.
I don’t do turkey or ham on Christmas; I’m more of a Peking duck kind of guy, opting for the Jewish tradition along with a double-header at the movies. But if I were to have the gang over this holiday season, I’d probably give this Frankenbird a try. The addition of stuffing – and that fatty duck – made all the difference, and really rescued what could have been just another dry, unappealing turkey.
Update: a friend who works for Broadleaf Game in L.A. just sent me some information about their seasonal turducken, which they spell “turduchen”: comes either as a 15 lb. whole turduchen ($69.98 + shipping & handling) or in a 4 lb. boneless roll ($30.50+ shipping & handling).
For more info, call 800-336-3844.