Was that Thanksgiving Turducken not enough to satisfy your need to stuff one bird inside another and then roast them into a pile of glowing delicious ecstasy? Well fear not, you need not repeat yourself. As the London Times reports, the Gooducken is here. Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like: A duck, stuffed in a chicken, which is then stuffed into a traditional christmas goose. The result is a christmas feast that would make Tiny Tim faint and/or make baby Jesus cry. Further information / pictures seem to be scarce, but rest assured that as soon as we spot or bite into one of these, you will be the first to know about it.
Archive for the Fowl Category
Mark Summers double dares you to eat that freakishly large piece of meat!
You know they use the excess grease from these to keep Walt Disney’s head alive.
New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, who usually manages to impress me only with the stubborn denial of his neoconservatism, wrote a great piece this week about California’s Prop 2, which, if approved, would keep factory farms from raising hogs, chickens or veal in small cages. Anyone concerned with eating healthier, more humane meat should support this initiative. Similar ballot measures have passed in Florida, Oregon, Arizona and Colorado.
But the best part of the column comes when Kristof describes his own experience slaughtering geese on his family farm.
Then there were the geese, the most admirable creatures I’ve ever met… Once a month or so, we would slaughter the geese. When I was 10 years old, my job was to lock the geese in the barn and then rush and grab one. Then I would take it out and hold it by its wings on the chopping block while my Dad or someone else swung the ax.
The 150 geese knew that something dreadful was happening and would cower in a far corner of the barn, and run away in terror as I approached…
Very often, one goose would bravely step away from the panicked flock and walk tremulously toward me. It would be the mate of the one I had caught, male or female, and it would step right up to me, protesting pitifully. It would be frightened out of its wits, but still determined to stand with and comfort its lover.
I tried to pet a goose when I was a small child, and it responded by pursuing me with ferocity. At the time I thought all geese were crazy; now I understand that there was probably something more going on. People are already weirded out by eating cute animals (cats and rabbits being unpopular for bbq’s); will they soon be just as repulsed by eating smart ones? Geese and pigs, as Kristof writes, “adhere to family values that would shame most of those who dine on them.”
Is there a slippery slope between this and vegetarianism, or at least (flavor-of-the-month vocab word) pescatarianism? It’s difficult to imagine that. I like to think that it’s a path where our awareness of animal rights leads us to eat a healthier and more sustainable amount of meat. Hopefully, states like Florida and California will take the lead in making sure that meat is humanely raised.
If the 3-in-1 bird wasn’t enough for you, check out this massive Christmas roast containing the following, all stuffed inside one another:
1. Turkey, 2. Goose, 3. Barbary duck, 4. Guinea fowl, 5. Mallard, 6. Poussin, 7. Quail, 8. Partridge, 9. Pigeon squab, 10. Pheasant, 11. Chicken, 12. Aylesbury duck.
Also known as the Turgoodukfowmalsinquaparquabantenuck.
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.
Today is from the department of “Why on earth is Chomposaurus coming up for a search like this”:
Do ducks breathe through their tongues?
Second: If we were in my 9th grade Biology class with Mr. B, you would have just gotten hit with a ruler.
Third: It’s actually somewhat true. Ducks apparently have nostrils in the back of their beaks which are weirdly connected to their tongues. I was not able to find an internet source to confirm that this was 100% true, but it seems to match the diagrams I found. Although you’re not likely to see a duck panting like a dog, they do have some strange anatomy going on. For even weirder breathing habits (i.e. breathing through your skin) check out this lovely lungless salamander:
Or if you don’t believe me about the duck tongues, well then you can just go to Hong Kong and eat one yourself.