I always like to cook something rather extravagant for Christmas dinner. Last year I did a pork belly porchetta, stuffed with sausage, which was a a beautiful mix of unctuous pork fat, crispy skin and tender meat, a winner for sure! This year I wanted to do something even more fitting for the occasion. As I had never made one, we decided to do Turducken. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this particular, um, “delicacy” let me explain. A Turducken is a chicken stuffed inside a duck stuffed inside a turkey. Yep……
All three birds get completely de-boned, seasoned and then rolled into a ridiculous looking roll. It then gets cooked for a long time till crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Ariel’s parents have a cob oven, so this seemed like the perfect place to roast our franken-bird.
We built a fire inside the oven and got it well above 700 degrees before we added the Turducken. I had it covered with tin foil to protect it from the high heat. I was worried that it would get too dark too quickly, and this ended up being the right call. We ended up taking the foil off for the last hour and this was plenty of time to get the skin really brown and crisp.
Once the bird(s) was in, we basically left it alone. The idea was to let the temperature gradually drop over a few hours, and we assumed that this would be ample time to cook the bird(s) all the way through. We did check the temperature of the oven when we pulled the Turducken out after 5 hours of cooking, and it was still about 350 degrees in there! Plenty hot to roast some brussels sprouts with bacon!
For a first time, this Turducken was really good! Next time, I will cook it for an hour less, as the white meat of the turkey got a little dry. I think I will also give all the birds a 24-48 hour brine, and then also add some more seasonings to the meats, like more fresh herbs and garlic and some chili perhaps. But even without all of that, it was quite a tasty treats and there was nothing left at the end of the night!