I first heard about turducken about twenty years ago and thought it was a passing fad. For those unfamiliar with the term, a turducken ( turkey, duck, chicken) is made from a turkey, a duck and a chicken. All three are boned ( except for the turkey legs) and brined for twenty-four hours. Then the chicken is rolled, the duck wrapped around it and they are stuffed into the turkey which is trussed. BTW, stuffing is spread between the meats as the turducken is being assembled. The turducken is now ready for roasting or grilling. When it is sliced for serving, a diner gets a portion of each meat.
I was amazed when I went to the local supermarket before Thanksgiving and found in the freezer not only turkeys but turducken. Apparently, they are here to stay and are even gaining in popularity. I can’t imagine why. They are more expensive than a turkey. I didn’t price them at the supermarket but later found on-line that they cost between $70 and $85 for one large enough to feed 15-20 people. It’s a little unfair to compare this cost with that of a frozen turkey which will set you back about $25. In the case of turducken, it is almost all meat and , besides, there is a lot of work involved in assembling it. You can also get turducken kits but they are
only minimally less and the saving isn’t worth it.
I never considered getting a turducken but a more adventurous friend on the West Coast did have one that was additionally stuffed with pork… as if a regular one was not enough! Intrigued, I searched the internet and found that mail order turducken come with a variety of stuffings, some of them very strange. I can understand stuffing a turducken with chicken sausage but … Creole pork sausage? Seafood Jambalaya?!!
Turducken are not an American invention. In Britain, they have the gooducken ( goose, duck, chicken) also known as Yorkshire Christmas pie and ( inexplicably) as Pandora’s Cushion. What does Pandora have to do with a stuffed goose?
Still, the modern day turducken and gooducken are positively Spartan. In France, a couple of centuries ago, there was a creation called Roti Sans Pareil ( Roast without Equal). It consisted of seventeen birds stuffed one inside the other, the largest of them a bustard, the innermost one so small that an only an olive could fit inside it. Is that over the top or what?