#35 Turducken

How should I stuff my turkey? It’s a question that’s plagued humanity since the beginning of time, or at least since the beginning of the turkey. For years, cooks around the world tried all sorts of different ingredients, from corn bread to rice, and even apples and nuts. Finally, in the early 1980s, a brave cook answered this question by stuffing his turkey with a duck, and if that weren’t brazen enough, he proceeded to stuff a chicken inside of that duck. Having no more room to stuff anything else, he placed his invention into the oven, and after several hours of cooking, the turducken was born. To borrow a phrase, this guy was a real man of genius.

I’ll bet the first people to see a turducken laughed, but I’m also willing to lay down money that all their plates were cleaned. With all the different stuffings and flavor combinations, eating turducken is like a wild party for your mouth (not dat kind of party!). Unlike most Cajun dishes however, this Acadian answer to the Russian doll is usually reserved for special occasions, due to price and the difficulty of making it. A cooked turducken may look just like a turkey, but once you cut into the deboned layers of meaty goodness and stuffing, you’re guaranteed some kee-yaws (oohs and ahhs for you non Cajuns) from your guests.

The turducken has a foggy history, with some people crediting Cajun chef Paul Prudhomme with creating the recipe while others credit New Orleans surgeon Gerald LaNasa, who was known for using a scalpel to prepare an early version of the dish. Whether the turducken was invented by a New Orleans doctor or a home town Cajun cook, a good idea is a good idea, and I’m declaring it a Cajun dish.

The best way to prepare the turducken is to go to the store, and buy one ready made. If you don’t believe me, then check out Paul Prudhomme’s insane turducken recipe. In one of his steps, you actually have to climb a mountain and slay a dragon. Ok, it’s not that complex, but it’s pretty damn close. These days, you can order a turducken from most local meat markets. With the popularity of turducken spreading across the South, it’s not too hard to find a store that will ship one across the country to you. So if you want to have a memorable Thanksgiving meal, try a turducken. It’ll beat mom’s dry baked turkey every time.

20 thoughts on “#35 Turducken

  1. The best turducken I had was stuffed with crawfish jambalaya or at least that is what I think it was. Here is another theory to throw So according to that show Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmerman, supposedly the turducken was invented by a Cajun hunter that went into Hebert’s Specialty Meats in Maurice and told to take his wild game and stuff them into each other. Who knows what the truth is but I agree with you, it is definitely more Cajun (I highly doubt a doctor from New Orleans would come up with the idea). Besides when I think of turducken I think of Maurice and Maurice is in Acadiana and therefore it is Cajun.

  2. hahahaha this is great 🙂 I grew up with either a fried turkey or turduken on the table for every Thanksgiving 🙂

    This totally made my day Chuval 🙂

  3. While the rest of the country goes carb heavy on the holidays, I think we Cajuns amp up the protein…that or we just amp up everything.

  4. for ordering turducken online, i’ll have to plug cajungrocer.com. based in lafayette, he ships turduckens packed in dry ice all around the country. i had one for christmas last year and let me tell you it was an experience i’ll never forget.

  5. I deboned a turkey and chicken last Christmas to make a turchicken. The duck is a bit too fatty for our tastes, otherwise I would have just bought the Tony Chacherie one they sell around here (Dallas area).

    It’s not that difficult, deboning a bird.

  6. I had one from cajunspecialtymeats.com and it was amazing! Although they are based in Pensacola, the two brothers who own it are from Maurice.

  7. Mandy – I’ll have to try these guys this Thanksgiving and show my non Cajun in-laws what a real turkey tastes like (duck and chicken and sausage)

  8. i actually think it started waaaaaaaaaaaaay back in the days of the courts of kings, when they stuffed birds inside of birds inside of birds.

    but, i’ll pretend it started in new orleans, where we have the krewe of rex… close enough, eh?

  9. Yeah, I read something about 17 birds stuffed inside each other for a royal French feast back in the 19th century. So the concept wasn’t original, but I’m betting the turkey/duck/chicken combo was.

  10. Dr. Gerald LaNasa New Orleans surgeon and founding culinary judge for the 1971 Andouille Festival was known for his use of a scalpel in de-boning his three birds of choice along with pork and veal roasts. The results of Dr. LaNasa’s work can be found in the modern day Turducken. His efforts in preserving a Louisiana culinary tradition were noticed by the emerging local chefs in New Orleans. His Turducken Ballontine is now widely commercially available. During the 1960’s Dr. LaNasa was a regular guest chef at the Court of Two Sisters in New Orleans and other fine kitchens in New Orleans. Dr. LaNasa’s innovation and success with Ballontine, Three Bird Roast and Turducken took place in the 60’s and 70’s long before many of the popular Cajun/Creole chefs of today took the stage. Dr. LaNasa’s multi bird roast creations also include goose, pheasant, guinea fowl and quail.

  11. I have been buying Turducken for years and have tried many brands, some come out mushy some bland but Turducken-king has a very tasty Turducken and I onlky buy from them now 🙂

  12. I have been buying Turducken for years and have tried many brands, some come out mushy some bland but Turducken-king has a very tasty Turducken and I onlky buy from them now 🙂

  13. Turducken Season is Over and Crawfish season is around the corner. BP oil spill dd not pollute the Crawfish but it did effect the season of the wild caught crawfish here s how:
    they “the corps of engineers diverted the water to flow into the Mississippi in order to flush the mouth of the Mississippi going into the gulf of Mexico, which in turn was to head off the ol. BP BP BP oh my what you have done to destroy this planet/country as you, Dick Cheney, George Bush Senior and , David Rockefeller and a host more of you evil dictatorial destroying, greedy evil people are doing. you will pay as the people have woken up and your imprisonment is coming in the future.

  14. I love NolaCajun’s turducken! I have tried cajungrocer’s and theirs is just Tony Chachere’s. It is not home made. It is a lot smaller than they say it is as well. NolaCajun has great customer service and also great stuffings that no one else offers. They are by far my favorite!

  15. Pingback: The History of the Thanksgiving Turducken | Twitt News

  16. Pingback: The History of the Thanksgiving Turducken - TURKEY PORTAL – TURKEY PORTAL

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