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OTHER ITA SITES:
This Thanksgiving, Serve A Turducken And Delight Your Guests
Each year at Thanksgiving, my family discusses what we will make for Thanksgiving dinner. Some of us are traditionalists, who shudder at the thought of anything but turkey with all the trimmings. Others are more adventurous -- especially me, since I did not grow up in the United States and I am not beholden to memories of Thanksgiving Past. I am always ready to try something new, and I believe (much to the fury of the traditionalists) that Thanksgiving is a great time to experiment with the menu.
And so it came to pass, last year, that I won the fight about the Thanksgiving menu, and, with the reluctant approval of the traditional family members, was given a free rein in the kitchen. And that's how the "turducken" Thanksgiving began.
What's a "turducken" you say? It was quite a task but well worth the trouble. I started the Wednesday before Thanksgiving by purchasing a 12 pound organic turkey, a 6 pound duck and a 3 pound fresh chicken. I carefully boned each one leaving their structure intact. You must cut carefully, especially the turkey, if it is to look natural.
I made a stuffing from the giblets of all three, adding some sage, thyme, dried apricots, and Grand Marnier. I had a little Grand Marnier too... (not recommended if you're under 21!). The first thing you do is lay the turkey out, skin-side down, open. You then put down an even layer of the stuffing, careful to not go too close to the edges. Next, you lay open the duck skin-side down right on top of the layer of stuffing. It is smaller so you can put a good layer of stuffing on it. Simply repeat the process with the chicken.
Now, the tricky part... You carefully wrap the turkey back up into its original shape, tying the drumsticks, breast, and rear together. You cover it and bake it slow and low until the innermost temperature is 165F. Be sure to baste often and remove fat as well. The duck is quite fatty. Leave it covered until the last half hour or so. You can remove the foil and it will turn a nice golden brown. Let it rest for a half hour before carving. You may want to rest a little bit yourself, also.
The big surprise comes at the table when you proudly stand to carve the 'turkey.' Using a serrated knife you slice through it like a loaf of bread. Your guests gasp, wondering what has happened. What is this thing laid before them? Then, they are treated to a meal that they have never imagined before, and a new Thanksgiving memory that will last a lifetime. (And maybe become a tradition of its own!)
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