Turducken Week – How to put a bird in a bird in a bird…

Roasted turducken recipe - Duck inside chicken inside turkey

My first encounter with turducken was in 2006. I know this, because I blogged about it. I had seen it on an American-German-Dutch woman’s site and was in absolute awe. I was new to the blogging scene, both in terms of writing and reading others’ really, and while I thought I’d forget about this quirky poultry concoction, I didn’t.

Fast forward to 2009 and I made my own for the first time. I didn’t have a cooking blog at the time and the pictures I took were just to share with friends….and maybe to feel like I had proof that “holy cow, I just deboned three birds after having never deboned a single one before, stuffed them inside each other, and then cooked the whole thing without really knowing what the heck I was doing.”

(If you don’t want to see raw birds, this is the part where you skip to the bottom or to another post. I left most of the pictures small for you squeamish ones….just click them to see the large versions.)

Roasted turducken recipe - Duck inside chicken inside turkey - Deboned chicken and turkeyTurducken chicken and duck bones  - back and neck removed from poultry
Mom was at work that day and I probably called her 10 times before she made it home. The birds were bought, the recipes were found, the YouTube instruction videos had been watched repeatedly…..but really, cutting the bones out of multiple birds without tearing the meat and skin apart? That’s crazy.

Deboned turkey for turduckenRoasted turducken recipe - Duck inside chicken inside turkey - seasoned with various spices

But I did it. And it’s one of those random meals early on that we still talk about. I’m not sure any of us had duck before either, so that in and of itself was enjoyable.
Roasted turducken recipe - Duck inside chicken inside turkeyRoasted turducken recipe - Duck inside chicken inside turkey
^ That’s Mom tying it closed while I took some pictures. I’m shocked I got her to even touch it. :P
Raw turducken - Duck inside chicken inside turkey - Rubbed down with more spices
It looks a bit more appetizing all closed up and covered in spice rub, huh? Still just a naked bird, though.
Roasted turducken recipe - Duck inside chicken inside turkey

It wasn’t until this came out of the oven that I was in awe. Check out all that crispy, delicious skin with blackened spices. Mmm, mmm, mmm.

Thanksgiving or Christmas plate filled with various side dishes and turduckenPhotobucket

Slicing it open probably could’ve looked prettier, but it didn’t even matter. It just looked neat to see all the different layers of dark and light meat. We had other items on the plate….looks like stuffing, a salad with honey mustard dressing, maybe a cauliflower and broccoli salad, and barbecued lil’ smokies. I can’t quite recall, but I do know we all went back for seconds….some of us thirds on the duck portion, hehe.

Turducken comic cartoon - Turkey, duck, and chicken in bed smoking cigarettes that says "Having satisfied their curiosity, the three friends went their separate ways and enver discussed "making a turducken" again."

In the last couple years, especially this year, I’ve seen soooo many turduckens and spins on the turducken. It’s everywhere! Everybody and their dog knows what a turducken is and wants to layer this dish or that to call it a ‘ducken of sorts.

So this week, I’m going to share several of those with you. The big cooking holidays are over for the year, but maybe you’ll find another reason to put some food in another food in another food in another food….

The wattle waddles…er, wobbles – Thanksgiving turkey cheeseball

That was one of my Thanksgiving dinner contributions.

I can’t even remember which cheeseball recipe I used, but it was delicious, rolled in a mix of chopped walnuts, almonds, and pecans. What? I couldn’t decide.

The wattle is made of a tiny piece of spaghetti, soaked in red food coloring. The neck and head piece are from a Slim Jim that I forced to hold its shape with a clip for a while.

The beak is a bit of cream cheese colored yellow, and the eyes are the same concept. I did my icing with the tiny corners of ziploc bags like this:

And the tailfeathers? They’re a combination of pretzel sticks in the front and larger sesame sticks in the back row. By the end, only a few tail feathers remained, and even those didn’t make it through the night. Delicious.

Groundhog’s Day meatloaves – Happy Rodent Day!

I think my meatball groundhogs are more like meatloaf gophers, but same idea, right? B thought they were more like squirrels even, oops! And another looks more like a rat. Hmm. A rodent is a rodent?

Or not.

Gopher groundhog meatloaf meatball with cheese teeth chocolate radish eyes chocolate ears cranberry nose

I wasn’t sure what to make the cartoon faces out of, so tried a few different things. This one has radish and  and cut chocolate baking chips as eyes, cranberry nose, monterey jack teeth, and baking chip ears. I gave each rodent a lobotomy, it seems, to wedge their new found body parts into.

Meatloaf meat loaf meatball gopher groundhog rat rodent with oyster cracker ears, radish and chocolate eyes, cranberry nose, cheese teeth

I tried oyster crackers for ears on this one and cut the cranberry in half so it’d be flatter on this one. Not that you can tell in the picture, but he’s a little less Rudolph-ish.

Gopher caught in the headlights! Er, I mean, ground hog. I switched to dark colored cranberries cut in half for the eyes and walnuts for ears. This one is a little more squirrel-like.

I’m thinking along the lines of Animaniac’s Skippy when he’s crying, similar to the 1:50 point in this video.

Anyway, more rodents!

I tried going for a more realistic “groundhog walking around on the ground” viewpoint, but uh, yeah, it looks like a rat, hehe. The only thing that’s missing is a licorice tail.

When I started running out of time, I solicited some help. :D This little guy is my sister’s groundhog. Oh, and that’s brown mustard on the eyes to help stick some of the parts together. My little rodent family:

groundhog gopher rat squirrel meatballs meat balls meat loaves meat loaf with radishes, cheese, chocolate, cranberries
Happy Groundhog’s Day, guys!