Turkey at Thanksgiving is a long-standing tradition for most American families, but sometimes it’s fun to break from tradition (at least a little bit!) and try something new. If you want to wow your guests with a twist on the classic turkey, get ready for turducken! A turducken is truly an unforgettably decadent experience. Best of all, despite it’s complex assemblage (which you needn’t bother with), it’s quite simple to prepare. Simply thaw, remove from package, roast, slice, eat. No stuffing, no trussing, no basting. Literally just cook and serve. Now that’s the kind of simplicity we like during the holidays!
There are various preparations when it comes to a turducken, but the common denominators are this: turkey, duck, and chicken. Some debone all three birds, wrap them all up together and roast it for an uber rich poultry tripartite. Others, like the ones from Echelon Foods, use just the boneless and skinless breast meat from duck and chicken, which is then stuffed within a boneless turkey. We like this preparation best as it’s less overpowering (from a fat perspective) as the whole bird preparations can be, yet it's still an unctuous and delectable meal!
Echelon Foods makes three styles of turduckens:
The Original Turducken (serves 10-12 adults) is deboned except for the drumsticks and wings and is available with either an Italian sausage or chicken-apple-sausage stuffing. The Turducken Premium Roast is a variation of the Original (serves 8-10 adults), the difference being the drumsticks and wings are removed. Their new Bacon-Wrapped Turducken (serves at least 10 adults) adds bacon (inside and out!) to the Premium Roast and comes with an Italian sausage stuffing. The drippings from the turducken make an amazing gravy that is super easy to make. Simply whisk in a bit of milk and flour (no seasonings necessary as the roast is already well-seasoned) and serve.
Turduckens can be ordered online or check here for a store near you.
Turducken cooking instructions:
To defrost, simply thaw your turducken in the refrigerator for 5 days or, for more rapid thawing, place in sink or bucket with cool water for 24 - 36 hours, changing water frequently to ensure it remains cool.
Low Temperature Cooking in a Conventional Oven (Most Popular Method):
Heat oven to 220°F.
Place the bird on a rack in a roasting pan and set in the center of the oven. Bake until internal temperature reaches at least 165°F. Cooking time: Internal temperature is the best indicator. Allow approximately 60 - 75 minutes per kilogram. For example, an 11 pound (5 kg) turducken may take up to 7 hrs.
Note: there’s no need to baste or cover with foil. When finished roasting, remove from oven, cover with foil and let rest for 30 minutes.
How to slice and serve your turducken:
Carefully transfer the turducken from the roasting pan to a large cutting board. Slice the roast first in half lengthways (head to tail), then continue slicing each half into about 1-2-inch slices. Carefully place sliced meat onto a platter and serve immediately.
Editorial disclosure: Foodista received a turducken from Echelon Foods for our honest review. No other compensation was received.