What is a turducken?
So, glad I asked. A turducken is a chicken inside a duck inside a turkey. It's a tur(key)duck(chick)en. Most of the bones need to be removed from the turkey and all of the bones have to be removed from the duck and chicken then they are combined along with stuffing before the turkey is sewn up (or skewered in a way to keep it in one piece) then cooked.
The night before, while the birds were thawing, I created a brine. This is usually just salt in water but can also contain other seasonings like peppercorns and sugar. That gets boiled then cooled. After it's cool the birds can be put in along with water and ice. The ice keeps the temperature low enough to make it safer that way. If there is a lot of room in the fridge it could be kept there without ice but that's hard to find in most fridges I would imagine. It spent over 8 hours in the brine.
Morning came along with the hard work. Had to remove the bones, which took a couple of hours. Wasn't too bad as I don't have issues with handling dead animals or anything like that and having taken anatomy type classes helped, I think. The only bad part is having to smell the dead birds for that long is a bit nauseating. I forgot to take pictures during the first stages, sorry. But finally I got them de-boned and my sister sewed the turkey while I held it together.
The end result is this:
After de-boning the birds I had a slight problem because the roasting pan I was remembering actually belongs to my dad and he lives in Utah. Mom (in Wyoming) doesn't have a roasting pan and we didn't pick up an aluminum one at the store this year because I was thinking we had one. Luckily, Grandma had a type of roast that plugs in and it was big enough. The first 20 minutes were on high at about 450 to sear a bit, then the temperature was lowers to about 275 for a slower cook to get the center done. We checked it regularly with a meat thermometer with the hopes of it reaching 180 degrees inside. It took around 6 hours to cook all the way.
But the overall result of the cooking came out well.
It looked good though if looking closely at the picture, yes there is a split down the middle sides. I think it's how the thread was placed through only skin in that area. Will have to work on the sewing and type of twine used if I try it again.
Then it was carved by Stepdad with directions from me on how to attempt it to let everyone get a piece of each type of bird, which wasn't as easy as it would seem. The turkey and chicken look similar but the duck has darker meat.
As you can see, we attacked the end result. There were only 5 people though so that is all we ate that night: less than half. Everyone liked it and I think it's something that I'd consider making again. It takes a lot of hard work but the end result is good. A few things I could improve on, like the treatment of the skins and how it was sewn up but other than that, it was a good meal. Had a good Thanksgiving with family, which is the important part.