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Turducken - Sat, 1st Nov 2008
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Only Americans could come up with such a dish: A chicken, stuffed in a duck, stuffed in a turkey. This version has 3 stuffings, each of which also contain various meats, for a total of 7 different dead animals. This is a great one to offend vegetarian dining companions!

Strangely, it actually tastes quite good, (I was expecting it to be more of a gimmick than anything else) and although the work is quite time consuming, it's not particularly difficult. Make sure you have plenty of time, and a helping pair of hands to assemble it.

One last piece of advice: Don't even think about deboning the meat yourself, unless you're a trained butcher. Give your butcher plenty of notice (at least a week) as deboning is time consuming, fiddly work. Mauro Bros Butchers in Station Street Fairfield provided my meat, at very reasonable cost, so they'll know what you're talking about if you tell them you're making turducken.

  Cornbread stuffing: Cajun stuffing:
  100gm chicken livers, diced 1 onion, chopped
  100gm chicken giblets, diced 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  100 gm pork mince 1/2 cup red capsicum, chopped
  2 cups cornbread (stale white bread will do, if you can't be bothered) 300gm minced beef
  1 onion, chopped 2 cloves minced garlic
  1/2 cup celery, chopped 1 tsp minced ginger
  1/2 cup red capsicum, chopped Cajun seasoning (usually sold in spices section of supermarkets)
  1 cup chicken stock 1 Can cream of mushroom soup
  Rind of 1 lemon 2 cups cooked rice
    1 cup beef stock
  Prawn stuffing:  
  1 onion, chopped Other:
  1/2 cup celery, chopped Poultry seasoning (available in spices section of supermarkets)
  1/2 cup red capsicum, chopped Salt and pepper
  1 can diced tomatoes Chicken skin (for assembly - ask your butcher)
  1 cup chopped raw prawn meat Cooking string (for sewing)
  2 cups cooked rice Large needle, or metal skewer
  Cayenne pepper 1 deboned turkey, 1 deboned duck, 1 deboned chicken.
  2 cloves garlic, minced  
  Dried basil, oregano  

The method for each of the stuffings is pretty much the same: Fry the meats in olive oil, add vegies, season liberally with salt, pepper, seasonings and herbs, add rice/bread, add stock. Do this for each stuffing, then set aside to cool (don't attempt assembly while still hot!)

Once you have your stuffings ready, lay out 4-5 pieces of string on a large board, then lay the turkey out on top. Season with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Spread over the Cornbread stuffing, then lay the duck on top, seasoning again. Spread the Cajun stuffing on this, then lay the chicken on top, with more seasoning. Finally top with the Prawn stuffing. Each stuffing layer should be about 1/2 inch thick. Now comes the hard part. Get someone to help hold the sides of the turkey together while you sew it up. Use pieces of chicken skin like skin grafts to help cover the gaps.You'll need to do a criss-cross pattern of string, effectively making a net around the turducken, which is also sewn into the outer layer. Don't be concerned if stuffing falls out - they're be plenty left in there. Wrapping/assembly of the bird will probably take at least an hour, so don't rush, and allow plenty of time.

Once your'e wrapped, transfer the "bird" to a baking dish, breast side up, and season the outer top with poultry seasoning. Bake in a moderate-low oven (I used about 150C fan forced) for 4.5 - 5 hours, or until cooked, basting often. Use a meat thermometer to ensure that the temperature of the inner layer reaches about 80C. Remove from the oven, and remove from the baking juices onto a serving platter. (Doing that will probably require several pairs of hands and supporting implements, as there's no bones to support the structure of the "bird".) Use the meat juices to make a gravy, while allowing the turducken to rest for 30 mins. This will feed a small army (10 of us made it through about 1/3 of it).

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