Long story, but we were gifted an already deboned turkey, duck and chicken recently. With that most tedious of tasks completed. of course we HAD to make a Turducken - our first ever.
First, we brined the birds for about 6 hours - a step that is critical for moist fowl.
I then started by making a cornbread dressing - this one using Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Cornbread mix and goat milk to accommodate a friend's food allergies. I added a basic mirepoix and some of the amazing chorizo verde sausage from Sheridan Fruit Co.
We layered the chicken inside the duck inside the turkey, with seasoning, stuffing and bacon in between each layer and trussed it up. Now, we didn't really follow the directions that are so helpfully posted all over the interwebs, but instead just jumped in and did it. Result was a fairly good lookin' roast, albeit with a few obvious mistakes we decided could be hidden with - what else - bacon.
I slathered it with butter (of course) and put it in the oven at 500 degrees for about 15 minutes.Then, I turned the oven down to 250 and let 'er roast. This baking scheme was suggested by Paula Deen, who I assumed would know a thing or two about Turduckens.
Well, it was a mistake. Three hours later, guests are all at the kitchen island and we're not even close to being done. Cranked up the oven to 300 and about an hour later, enough of it was done to jump in.
It wasn't the prettiest Turducken ever, but it was very moist and tasty - particularly the stuffing.
Lessons for next time:
- Skip the bacon and use pancetta or proscuitto instead. (Basically, I was being cheap by doing this.) The bacon didn't really cook, didn't add any flavor or juiciness, and was just kinda gross.
- Wrap the birds up as instructed, don't just wing it. (Ha! I made a fowl joke!)
- Use a little less stock in the stuffing - I used a bit more to keep things moist, but it didn't hold up in the roast.
- Don't trust Paula Deen.