Turducken

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A combination of turkey, duck and chicken meat (thus the name), that are layered together and rolled into a poultry roast. A turducken is typically prepared with a cornbread and sausage (andouille sausage) and/or oyster stuffing placed between the meat as it is layered together. The meat is often seasoned with a Creole or spicy seasoning and then the turducken is grilled or oven roasted.

A popular food commonly served in the southern U.S., turducken can be purchased or made as a boneless, rolled roast that cooks within several hours or as a combination of meats that are layered within a whole turkey requiring longer cooking time. For some homemade versions, the turducken is prepared with a boned turkey breast (skin on), a boned duck breast (skin on), and a boned chicken breast (skin on). The turkey breast, which is the first layer, is spread out on a flat surface. Sausage stuffing is spread over the breast. The duck breast is spread flat (skin side down) over the turkey breast followed by another layer of cornbread stuffing, which is then followed by the chicken breast. When oven roasted, the handmade version, depending on size, may require 4 to 8 hours of baking time in a 325ºF to 350ºF oven.

Some traditional recipes call for turducken to be slowly roasted for as long as 14 hours in a 190°F oven, but this is a dangerous practice. Poultry should never be cooked at low temperatures for long periods of time, especially when it contains stuffing. When cooked at a low temperature, too many hours are required for the meat and stuffing to reach a safe internal temperature, so harmful bacteria can multiply rapidly during this lengthy period. The homemade version of turducken can only be made safe by roasting it at a safe minimum temperature of 325°F or above. Therefore, it may be best to purchase a commercially prepared version and carefully follow the package instructions. Commercially produced turducken is generally available during seasonal celebrations, such as Christmas, but is becoming more readily available as it becomes more widely produced and distributed.

A similar food item that is not as readily available as turducken is osturducken, which adds ostrich meat to the layers of meat. It is prepared in the same manner as turducken, layering the meats and adding stuffing as well as seasonings.

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"What an interesting concept. I had never heard of this. I bet it tastes delicious."
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