Turducken

[Photograph: Bill Milne for Chile Pepper magazine]

Recipe by Andrea Lynn.

Before you start to make the stuffing, taste the Cajun spice blend you're going to use and if it's very salty, tone down the salt in the rest of the recipe.

Turducken

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About This Recipe

Yield:4
This recipe appears in: How to Make Turducken in Under 24 Hours

Ingredients

  • For the stuffing:
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vegetable or canola oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 teaspoons Cajun spice blend, divided
  • 2 raw chorizo sausages, removed from casings
  • 2 medium onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 medium-sized fennel bulbs, roughly chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced or grated on microplane
  • 1⁄4 cup dried cranberries
  • Chicken stock, as needed
  • 8 cups crumbled homemade or store-bought cornbread
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the turducken
  • 1 large duck breast (about 8 ounces)
  • 1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs (2 to 3)
  • 2 turkey cutlets (about 1/2 pound)
  • For the gravy
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk

Procedures

  1. 1

    For the stuffing: Heat 1 teaspoon canola oil in 10-inch skillet over medium high heat until shimmering. Add walnuts and 1 teaspoon Cajun spice blend. Cook, stirring and tossing occasionally until nuts are evenly toasted, about 3 minutes. Remove nuts from pan, and set aside.

  2. 2

    Reduce heat to medium. Add chorizo, using spatula to crumble meat. Cook, stirring constantly, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove sausage from pan and reserve, leaving 1 tablespoon fat. Reduce heat to medium-low, add onion, and cook, stirring often until softened, about 5 minutes. Add fennel and celery and cook, stirring often until all the vegetables are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, and cook until fragrant, 1 minute longer. Transfer vegetables to bowl and let cool for 10 minutes.

  3. 3

    Add vegetables to bowl of food processor with 1⁄4 cup Cajun-spiced walnuts, and dried cranberries. Process for 30 seconds until mixture is combined. In large bowl, combine vegetable mixture, cornbread, remaining 1⁄4 cup of walnuts, 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning, and 1⁄2 cup chicken stock. Stir, adding more chicken stock as needed to make a cohesive but not soggy texture. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. 4

    For the turducken: Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Lay duck breast skin-side down on cutting board with long edge perpendicular to edge of table. Using sharp chef's knife or boning knife, make one thin horizontal slit from left side of breast to right side, about 1/4 inch from the top, leaving 1/8th-inch connected on right side. Open like book. Repeat, making another cut from right to left and open duck breast like business letter. Place duck breast between two pieces of wax paper or plastic wrap and pound gently until roughly 1/3 of an inch thick. Refrigerate until needed.

  5. 5

    Pound chicken thighs between two sheets of wax paper with meat pounder or rolling pin until each one is even 1/3-inch thickness. refrigerate until needed. Repeate with turkey cutlets.

  6. 6

    Lay opened duck breast skin side down on cutting board. Season with salt and pepper. Spread 3-4 tablespoons stuffing onto duck meat. Use back of spoon or offset spatula to smooth stuffing entirely over top of breast. Lay flattened chicken thighs on top of duck. Season with salt and pepper. Chicken layer should be the same size or slightly smaller than the duck layer. Trim chicken if necessary. Spread 3-4 tablespoons stuffing over chicken, smoothing with spatula or back of spoon. Lay turkey cutlets on chicken layer, trimming if necessary to fit over chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Spread 1 tablespoon stuffing over turkey. Place remaining stuffing in 13 by 9-inch baking pan.

  7. 7

    Roll turducken jelly-roll style from left to right. Cut eight 12-inch pieces of butcher's twine and lay parallel to each other in 1-inch intervals. Place turducken on top and twine working from outside towards center to secure. Trim off excess twine.

  8. 8

    Season turducken with salt, pepper and remaining Cajun seasoning. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat in heavy 12-inch oven-proof cast iron or stainless steel skillet until shimmering. Add turducken, duck skin side down, and brown on all sides, approximately 8 minutes total. Transfer turduck and stuffing to oven and roast until instant read thermometer inserted into center of turducken registers 150°F, about 30 minutes. Remove turducken to cutting board, tent lightly with aluminum foil and let rest at least 10 minutes. Do not discard the pan drippings.

  9. 9

    For the gravy: Add butter and flour to turducken drippings and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with wooden spoon until light blond in color. Whisking constantly, add 1/2 cup chicken stock in slow steady stream. Add milk and bring to a boil over high heat until. Add more chicken stock to bring to desired consistency. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and cajun spice blend. Slice turducken, and serve hot with gravy.

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