hen (from Howard Collins)
CHEF PAUL’S HOLIDAY DINNER
It’s a lot of fun to let your guests think you’re serving them a regular holiday turkey. When you start to carve the “turkey,” they’ll be quite surprised to see you cut through its “bones!”
Since the Turducken takes about 8 hours to cook (and then it needs to cool at least 1 hour before it’s carved), you will need to plan your time wisely. First, be sure your oven temperature control is accurate by using (or purchasing) an inexpensive oven thermometer to monitor the oven’s temperature instead of relying on the oven temperature control. Otherwise, your Turducken may take considerably less or more time than you have planned.
The quickest way to prepare your Turducken is to get friends or family members to help make the dressings and de-bone the fowl. (If you’re on your own, you will need to allow more time for preparation of the Turducken). We get letters every year from “Turducken Teams” — friends and relatives who gather together to make (and eat!) their Turduckens as a group activity! It might be fun to take pictures along the way so that you can look back and have “Turducken” memories year-round!
It’s also nice to serve additional dressing in bowls at the table, so our dressing recipe will make about 8 cups extra of each dressing. If you do not want to serve extra dressing with your Turducken, you can cut each dressing recipe in half.
If you’re inexperienced at de-boning fowl, start with the turkey; because of its size, you can more easily see the bone structure. After de-boning the turkey, the duck and chicken will go much faster. And remember, each time you do a Turducken it gets easier; it doesn’t take magical cooking abilities, it just takes care. What is magical is the way people eating your Turducken will feel about your food!
1 (15 to 20 pound) turkey
1 (5 to 6 pound) domestic duckling
1 (3 to 4 pound) chicken
Andouille Sausage Dressing (recipe follows)
Cornbread Dressing (recipe follows)
Shrimp Dressing (recipe follows)
Sweet Potato Eggplant Gravy (recipe follows)
1 (15 x 11-inch) ungreased baking pan, at least 2