Review: Turducken [cajungrocer.com]
The amazing folks at cajungrocer.com were kind enough to ship me one of their massive turduckens to test for the blog. Don’t know what a turducken is? Well, if you want to be on the front lines of the meat frontier, you should. It’s a dish consisting of a partially de-boned turkey stuffed with a de-boned duck, which itself is stuffed with a small de-boned chicken, with layers of stuffing in-between. In this case, the total creature weighed 15 lbs, with 11.5 lbs being meat.
The birds come de-boned and pre-stuffed, wrapped up nicely in a cryovac package with the legs tied. They need to cook for about 5 hours at 325; it’s a pretty easy process, considering the amount of different animals you’re cooking at once.
The only cooking fiasco can be blamed entirely on me and my stupid failure to buy a roasting pan. Instead, I constructed one using a cookie sheet and a lot of aluminum foil. It held pretty well, until I removed the birds to cover them for their last hour of cooking. Some of the foil got caught on the rack, producing a hole through which a bit of grease leaked. After some dramatic sizzling, huge amounts of smoke came gushing out and I started to ponder whether I knew how to turn the fire alarm off for the building (I do). The crisis was averted through some quick cleaning, and the turducken came out with a nice brown crispy skin.
When the bird was carved, we were at first all puzzled as to which part was which; but once we got it on our plate, chunks of duck, chicken and both types of stuffing magically appeared. You can see it best in the picture below.
The turkey came out great; you could easily substitute it for any thanksgiving bird, as the skin, texture and taste all were identical. The duck was the best of the three winged beasts; it had a bit of spice that went well with the cajun seasoning. The incredibly moist chicken also delighted, but there was less of it and it was kind of hard to distinguish from all the other things crowded around it. The stuffing, as predicted, benefited greatly from being cooked with three juicy birds, and we all liked both the cornbread and cajun varieties.
But what makes the turducken experience so crazy is the combination of all these flavors; it’s like taking everything you love about thanksgiving and baking it into a spicy loaf. I was struggling for a way to describe the utterly unique, incredibly rich flavor; it was almost like eating a slightly sweet cheese made of meat. Does that make sense? No. But neither does the turducken. It defies logic, and it must, because it is truly one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten.
So go ahead, shell out the $70. You will throw a party people remember forever; they will be thanking you years later for giving them the meat-eating experience of a lifetime.