Something freaky for T-day...Turducken

The friendliest place on the web for anyone that enjoys cooking.
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.


Executive Chef
Aug 25, 2004
USA, Oklahoma
Mind you, I've never attempted this at home. I can debone a whole bird, as I learned that in college, but I've never done it for something at home. Also, keep in mind that this is Chef Prudhomme's recipe, and he likes the hot stuff, so if you decide to make any of the recipes for this, be sure to cut down on the red/white/black pepper.


Andouille Smoked Sausage Dressing
Cornbread Dressing
Oyster Dressing
1 20 – 25 # turkey (a tom turkey)
1 4 – 5 # duck
1 3 – 3 ½ # chicken
Seasoning mix:
3 T salt
1 T + 1 ½ t sweet paprika
1 T onion powder
1 T garlic powder
1 T cayenne
1 ½ t white pepper
1 ½ t dried thyme
¾ t black pepper
a small hammer
a 3” curved needle ( a “carpet” needle with a curved tip works well)
strong thread to sew the bird up with
1 15x11” baking pan at least 2 ½” deep
a pan large than the above mentioned pan, which the pan above will fit into nicely

Make the three dressings. Cool, cover well, and refrigerate. Bone the fowl. When boning the birds, remember that:
1 Your goal is to end up with a whole, boned turkey, with only the tips of the leg bones, and the first to bones of the wings, a completely boneless duck, and a completely boneless chicken.
2 Be careful not to pierce the skin of the birds except for the initial cuts. Cuts in the skin tend to enlarge during cooking, making the roast less attractive as well as dryer.
3 Allow yourself plenty of time, especially if you’re just starting out. Even if you are experience, be careful, the meat isn’t tough, and you want as much of it off the bone as possible.
4 Bone one of side of each bird, either the left or the right, before starting the other side.
5 Use a very sharp knife, and then use only the tip. Work slowly, and stay as close to the bone as possible.
6 Start with the turkey first, it’s larger, and easier to understand. Once you get the turkey done, you will understand how the other birds are put together, and they will be easier to bone out.
7 You might want to bone the birds first, then use the trimmings and the carcasses to make enough stock to make all the stuffing’s.

To bone the birds: place the bird, breast down, on the cutting board. Make an incision the entire length of the spine through the skin and flesh. Starting at the neck, follow the as close to the bone as possible, gently teasing the skin and flesh away from the bone. Cut through to the shoulder blade, cut the meat away from that bone, and sever the bone from the joint. Disjoint the wing and remove the wing bone, being careful not to break the skin. Cut through that joint, and remove the wing bone. Cut the ball-and-socket joint in the hip to sever the thigh. You should now be able to lay the bird open more, and be able to more clearly see the bones that lay ahead. Continue teasing the meat away from the bones until you reach the center breastbone. CAREFULLY separate the skin from the breastbone, as the skin is very thin here, and there is no meat between the two. Repeat this process on the other side, then remove the carcass and save for stock. Remove the thigh bone and leg bone by breaking the leg bone with the hammer towards the end of the leg. Do not break through the skin. Remove the thigh and leg bones as one unit, using the tip of the knife to gently scrape the meat away from the bones. Be careful not to break the skin at the knee joint, as this is a very difficult place to cut the meat away. Don’t worry about leaving too much meat on the joint, it can’t be helped. With you hands or the knife, try to remove as many of the pin bones from the legs of the turkey as possible. Leave the tip of the leg bone in place. Cover and refrigerate the turkey. For the duck and the chicken, repeat this process, but completely remove the first two joints of the wings, and the leg bone. You will not find any pin bones in the legs of the chicken or duck.
Assemble the roast: spread the turkey, skin side down, on a flat surface. Sprinkle the meat generously with about 3 T of the seasoning mixture, patting the seasoning in with your hands. Stuff some of the cold andouille dressing into the leg, thigh, and wings until they are full, but not packed (they will burst during cooking if they are packed). Spread and even layer of dressing over the remaining body cavity, about ½ - ¾” thick. Place the duck, skin side down, on top of the turkey. Season the duck with about 1 T of the seasoning mix. Spread the cold cornbread dressing into the duck, to about ½” in thickness, just as you did for the turkey. Arrange the chicken on top of the duck, skin side down. Season the chicken with 1 T of the seasoning mixture. Spread the oyster dressing evenly over the chicken, about ½” thick. Now, you are going to need help. With your helper, carefully lift the roast into the 11x15” pan, while you are doing that, fold the turkey over to regain it’s natural shape. Have your helper hold the turkey closed while you sew the bird up. Turn the bird over, carefully, and tie the leg bones together. Leave the roast breast side up in the pan. Place this pan into the larger pan, to catch any overflow of grease and juices from the bird. Season the exposed side of the roast with about 2 T of the seasoning mixture. Refrigerate until ready to bake.
To bake: bake at 190°F until done, 12 to 13 hours (this is best done overnight, with a teammate, so that you both get at least 4 hours of sleep at a time), or until a meat thermometer registers 165°F in the center of the roast. It is very important that you read from the center, instead of the thigh, like a traditional bird, since it’s boneless, and is stuffed, you need to make sure the stuffing in the center is cooked enough to prevent salmonella and e. coli. You will not need to baste this roast, but you will need to remove accumulated dripping from the pans or it will “deep fry” in it’s own juices. When done, remove from the oven and let it cool for 1 hour. This roast will stay warm for an unbelievably long time, since it is totally filled. With strong spatulas, remove the roast to a serving platter. Be careful, there are no bones to support the roast! Present this roast to your guests, and to carve, carve from left to right, or right to left, completely across the bird, to ensure that each guest gets all three stuffing’s. Serve with your favorite gravy.

Andouille Smoked Sausage Dressing
Yields: about 10 c

¼ # (1 stick) + 2 T margarine
8 c chopped onions, in all
4 c chopped celery, in all
4 c chopped green bell peppers, in all
2 ½ # andouille sausage (or keilbasa)
¼ # (1 stick) butter
¼ c minced garlic
¼ c paprika
2 T Tabasco
¾ t salt
4 c chicken stock
5 c, or more, of bread crumbs, in all
(if you are using this recipe for a Turducken, you will want a stiff stuffing.)

In a heavy 8 qt saucepan, melt the margarine over high heat. Add 4 c of the onions, 2 c of the celery, and 2 c of the green bell peppers. Sauté until mixture is well browned, about 35 minutes, stirring and scrapping often. Remove pan from heat momentarily, and add the sausage, stirring well. Return pan to the heat and cook until meat is well browned, about 20 minutes, stirring and scraping as much of the sediment as possible as it cooks. Stir in the butter, then add the remaining onions, celery, and bell peppers, the garlic, paprika, Tabasco, and salt, stirring well. Reduce heat to low and cook until the last vegetables added are al dente, about 15 minutes, stirring and scraping as needed. Stir in the stock and bring to a boil. Continue cooking until the fat rises to the top and coats most of the surface, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and stir in the bread crumbs, starting with 4 c, and adding more as needed (if you are using this recipe for a Turducken, you will want a stiff stuffing.). Remove from the heat. Transfer mixture to an ungreased 15x11” baking pan. Bake uncovered in a 425°F oven until mixture is well browned throughout, about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Stir and scrape the stuffing while baking every 15 – 20 minutes, but only after it starts to brown on top. Remove from oven and serve. If you are stuffing a bird with this, allow it to cool completely, preferably overnight.

Cajun Cornbread Dressing

Seasoning Mix:
2 t salt
1 ½ t white pepper
1 t cayenne
1 t black pepper
1 t oregano
½ t onion powder
½ t thyme
1 stick butter
2 T margarine
¾ c onion, small dice
¾ c green bell pepper, small dice
½ c celery, small dice
1 T garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
¾ # chicken gizzards
1 c chicken stock
1 T Tabasco
5 c crumbled cornbread
1 13 oz can evaporated milk
3 eggs

Boil giblets, let them simmer while you are prepping the other ingredients. Once you have prepped everything else, drain the gizzards, and mince them. Combine the seasonings, set aside. In a large skillet, melt butter and margarine with onions, bell peppers, celery, garlic, and bay leaves. Sauté over high heat 2 minutes. Add seasonings, cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add gizzards, stock, and Tabasco, cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Add cornbread and milk, stir, then add eggs, stir. Spoon mixture into a greased and floured baking dish, and bake @ 350°F for 40 - 45 minutes, until browned on top.

Oyster Dressing
Yields: ~ 3 c

20 small to medium oysters, shucked, in their liquor.
1 c cold water
1 ½ sticks (¾ c) margarine, in all
1 ½ c chopped onions, in all
1 c chopped celery, in all
1 c green bell pepper, in all
Seasoning mix:
½ t salt
½ t garlic powder
½ t cayenne
½ t paprika
½ t black pepper
¼ t onion powder
¼ t oregano
¼ t thyme
1 t minced garlic
3 bay leaves
1 c very fine bread crumbs
2 T butter, softened
¼ c chopped green onions

Combine the oysters and water, stir and refrigerate at least one hour. Strain and reserve oysters and oyster water until ready to use. Melt 4 T of the margarine in a large skillet over high heat. Add ¾ c onions, ½ c celery and ½ c green bell peppers. Sauté over high heat until onions are dark brown but not burned, about 8 minutes, stirring frequently. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the seasoning mix. When onions are browned, add 2 T of the seasoning mix and the garlic into the skillet. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the remaining onions, celery, bell peppers, and one stick (8 T) margarine, and the bay leaves. Stir until margarine is melted. Continue cooking 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the reserved oyster water and cook over high heat about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the remaining seasoning mix and enough bread crumbs to make a moist but not runny dressing, remove from heat. Stir in the oysters. Spoon dressing into an ungreased 8 x 8 x 2” baking pan and bake uncovered in a 350°F oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, discard bay leaves, and stir in the butter and green onions.
OMG! I bet that is so incredibly good!!! Pain in the rump to do, but oh I bet it's worth the effort!

Paul Prudhomme sure could cook! I saw him last April and he's dropped about 200 pounds (or maybe 300...) and is still cookin' away.
We cooked it before. It was ok, really not as good for all the trouble you go through. Will post pictures later. Can't get to them from work.
I've never attempted a turducken, but have read of it with interest, God send that I end up with enough grandchildren and all that I might get through that mass of meat once in this life...

You raise an interesting point in boning out poultry, though my modest needs for mass keep it down to a Capon at best, or a chicken for the smaller grouping...

Bone out your bird, noting that God gives us "zippers" on any bird that are easy enough to pull out the bones...and a good boning knife is indeed a great friend of the budding chef!

Take the deboned bird and rub thoroughly with your favourite herbs and spices (I love garlic, and Club House BBQ powder!), then insert in that funny BBQ grilling rack (two wire racks tied together and clipped in place), with the bird fully spread, so its usually only about 3/4" thick at any point, and grill in the oven, or better yet on the BBQ with high heat, turning once...a remarkably short cooking period, given a whole bird...


Pictures of the one we cooked.
Rainee said:

OMG! Rainee, I grew up eating off those same plates! Unfortunately, they are gone now, victims of accidents, every one. However, when my sister married, her DH had a few pieces of the set, and my DW has a few bowls of the set.

BTW, how did you like your Turducken?
They came with the house (my husband's grandmother's).

It was ok, not sure it was good enough for all the work involved. We probably won't make another one.
AllenMI said:
Rainee said:

OMG! Rainee, I grew up eating off those same plates! Unfortunately, they are gone now, victims of accidents, every one. However, when my sister married, her DH had a few pieces of the set, and my DW has a few bowls of the set.

BTW, how did you like your Turducken?

These are the dishes I bought for my first apartment many years ago. My grandmother had some also, and I have found a lot more in thrift shops and garage sales.

I guesstimate I now have enough of the corelle spring blossom dishes and accessories to feed about 60 people.
Wow. Thanks SO much for the pics Rainee. Nice ones. But I've got to know whether or not you brined the fowl, or your opinion as to its worth /need on turducken...?

PS: Snappy corelle...!
No brine. Well we just have never thought that brining was value added for the time required to do it.
Thanks Rainee, we have been thinking about making one for ten years or so and were just about to do it this year.

I always wondered if all of the work was worth it.

Your turducken looks wonderful, and we appreciate all the work you did. Thanks for the comment that you will probably not do it again.

I think you have given us a reason to postpone the venture for at least another year or so.

And then we will probably find another reason to put the task off a few more years.
I believe this dish would be great more for braggin rights than for extraordinary flavor. However, if you are a true dtuffing lover, as I am, and the meat was juicy and well flavored, I can see this as a definite possibility smoked on a barbecue. It might then be worth the trouble.

Your boning technique reminds me of phisyology class in High School, where we dissected a cat, pickled in formaldihyde, and had to separate the skin, and all of the bones, muscles, and blood vessels. Of course we used razor-sharp scalpels for that job. Hmmm, I wonder if razor sharp exacto-knives would work for this job (muahahahaha, come here little student. Would you like to disect a turkey?) :twisted: I like boning the bird idea better though, as I wouldn't have to remember all of those Latin identifying names ;) .

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
Top Bottom