Friday, November 28, 2008

My Thanksgiving Dinner - Adventures of aTurducken

{my table setting}

Happy belated Thanksgiving!

I was so busy yesterday cooking my dinner, I had no time to even turn the computer on. It started pretty early, I opened my "turkey breast" package in the morning just to find out, that there was much more there than just a turkey breast - it was a whole turkey without wings and legs... yes, I had to wrestle the bird to get him off the bones. and that's never fun.
The other surprise was the duck. I don't make duck to often, actually I don't even remember last time when I made a duck. So I just bought 2 duck breasts, and didn't think anything of it. I know duck is fatty. But this one had about 1/2 inch layer of fat and about 1/4 inch layer of the breast meat, it was little too much fat... I had to pull the fat of the meat and make sure that the breast holds its shape. It worked. But between the turkey wrestling and duck de-fatting it took me about an hour, which I didn't count for...

And it's all because I decided to make my own version of a turducken! (I hope I spelled it right)... Instead of making the "whole" turkey stuffed with the whole duck, stuffed with the whole chicken - I wanted to make just the turkey breast stuffed with duck breast, stuffed with chicken breast.
And in the end everything worked out fine, but the stresfull morning got me little worry about the whole dinner. I even sent my husband to the grocery store to buy a rotisserie chicken, just in case if... he called me from the store, the chickens they had looked like they've been on the grill little too long, dried out and burned... he didn't get any... so the turducken just had to come out right! And it did. It was a very successful turkey dinner!

The plan was to season the layers, and to spread a herb butter inside and outside of the turkey. Butter always makes the bird taste so much better, gives it a layer of a moisture protection. The turkey was moist, and tender, with a crunchy layer on the outside. I don't have too many photos of the execution of the dish - my hands were covered with butter and all kinds of other stuff. Here is the picture of the final product - you can see the outer layer of the turkey, and the darker meat inside is the duck, the skinny lighter is the chicken... not bad, hmm?

Here is the recipe for my version of a Turducken:

1 double (boneless) turkey breast, keep the skin
1 double duck breast (boneless, and skinless, keep the skin)
1 single chicken breast (boneless and skinless)
makes 2 separate turducken "roulads"

Seasoning mix: sea salt, black pepper, pinch of cayenne pepper, poultry seasoning, garlic powder (I didn't measure, just use your judgment)

The herb butter: 1,5 stick of unsalted butter room temp, bunch of thyme, sage and chives; chop the herbs and mix with butter.

Butterfly each turkey breast to flatten it out, season it, and spread a layer of the herb butter. In the middle lay the duck breast, my duck was pretty thin, so I didn't have to cut it, but make sure the duck is not too thick, you need to have room to close the turkey and make sure that it doesn't fall apart. Use one duck breast, season it, add a thin layer of the butter and arrange the last layer - chicken. season it, and try to either roll it or bring the turkey sides up, use kitchen twine to tie it all together. Once assembled lift the turkey skin gently with your fingers to add the butter under the skin. It really helps to keep the turkey moist. Season the outside of it.
I melted the duck skin on the low heat, and put some of it on the bottom of the pan, and put the turkey in it, added few garlic cloves and onion. 375 degrees, until done, until your meat thermometer shows 180 degrees. I based the turkey every once on a while with the juices from the bottom of the pan. Make sure to rest it for 10 - 15 minutes before you start cutting it!

For the first course we had the lovely, creamy butternut squash soup.
And the turducken was served with:
  • Monterrey Jack-Garlic Mashed Potatoes,
  • Mushroom Sherry Gravy,with turkey drippings
  • Vegetable Madly - Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower,
  • Honey Glazed Carrots,
  • Stuffing,
  • Dinner Rolls,
  • Baked Onions with Parmesan Cheese, recipe by Italian Cook from Chicago, click here for the recipe

Wine of the evening was Barefoot Zinfandel - very affordable wine, pretty good for the price. Zinfandel is not usually paired with chicken or turkey, but I really like the flavor, it's pretty smooth and silky, so it went well with all the mushrooms I had in stuffing, and the mushroom gravy for the turkey. So in the end it all tasted pretty good.

1 comment:

Proud Italian Cook said...

Hi Meg, Thanks for visiting my blog, I'm so glad you liked the onion dish too. You have a beautiful blog here, keep up the good work. Your photo's and dishes look terrific, I enjoyed my visit, and I'll be back to see what else your cooking up. Thanks again,