This is my recipe for thanksgiving or Christmas Turducken. It breaks from tradition in that it includes two boneless quail stuffed with pork and apple sausage in the centre. You can miss this ingredient if you wish.
Turducken makes fantastic leftovers the next day.
- 1 x whole boneless Turkey approx 2.4kg
- 1 x whole boneless Duck approx 2.3kg
- 1 x whole boneless Chicken approx 1kg
- 2 x whole quail boneless or bone them out (it’s not hard if you have a sharp knife)
- 375mls Verjuice
- 1 x Pork and Apple sausage minus the casing
- 2 slices Prosciutto
- A few dried Oamaru cherries to stuff and a little port to rehydrate them
- 2 Tbsp Hazelnut Spread
- 500gms Duck Fat
- 1.5 litres good quality Chicken Stock (an extra 500gm pack just in case)
- Soup vegetables to trivet
- 2 Bay Leaves
- Cooking string and 6 long wooden skewers
Three Days before Cooking:
Take the turkey out of the freezer and place in your fridge. This will take up to three days to defrost
Two days before:
Take the other poultry products out of the freezer and defrost in the fridge. Defrost the sausages as well.
The night before:
Unwrap all the poultry and pat dry with thick paper towels. Use separate ones for each bird.
Bone out your Quail – this is easy – don’t be scared. Just keep the rest of the poutry in the fridge while you do this as it takes time – not lots but enough.
Place the Turkey in one dish and pour half the Verjuice over the top. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Place the rest of the boneless birds in another dish pour the rest of the Verjuice over that and cover and refrigerate overnight.
On the Day: (In the morning)
DON’T be tempted to do this a day or so before. This is poultry and does not like sitting around.
Melt the Duck fat and blend with the Chicken Stock. Soak the cherries in a little Port or Marsala.
Squeeze the stuffing out of the Pork & Apple sausages. Discard the skins.
Remove your birds from the fridge and drain off and discard the Verjuice marinade. (The marinade helps to keep the poultry moist when cooking.)
Lay the quail out flat, skin side down and pop 1/3 of a Pork and Apple Sausage stuffing into the middle of each one. Roll them up and then wrap each little roll in two pieces of Prosciutto to cover.
Lay the chicken out flat, skin side down.
Place the stuffed Quail side by side in the middle of the boneless chicken. Roll the quail up in the chicken.
Lay the boneless Duck out flat. Drain the cherries and dot them all over the Duck.
Roll the Duck around the chicken (which is now rolled round the Quail which is rolled around the sausage stuffing – are you still with me?) It’s not looking too pretty at this stage but trust me – it’s worth it.
Lay the turkey out flat skin side down. Take a sharp knife and butterfly each turkey breast to spread the meat more evenly across the surface of the bird.
Plaster hazelnut spread over the surface of the Turkey. Wrap the Turkey around the Duck which … well you know the drill.
Now you can secure the whole bomb with wooden skewers. Turkey skin is quite robust so you can work with it to do this. Try to do as neat and tidy a job as you can. When secure, take the cooking string and tie the turkey every which way until the bundle resembles a pumpkin.
Using pliers or cooking shears snip the long ends off the skewers leaving little stumps which can be found later.
Now you have a raw Turducken! Well done!
Place your trivet vegetables in the bottom or around the sides of your slow cooker. Put the Turducken into the slow cooker and pour the stock and Duck Fat over the top. If the liquid does not cover the beast, use the extra 500gms of Chicken Stock. Add a couple of Bay Leaves and a good sprinkle of Sea Salt.
Cook for 5 hours on LOW in a slow cooker then transfer to the oven at 180 degrees C to finish for up to two hours. I took the string off after removing from the slow cooker (much to my husband’s disgust – he thought it would all explode the minute the string was removed! It didn’t) to ensure a pretty finish. Also once you roast it the string will likely stick to the skin making a mess of holes if you remove it later.
Rest well before carefully removing the skewers and carving to ensure the colours of each layer are preserved.
While you finish the Turducken in the oven rendering it golden brown, take the cooking juices from the slow cooker. Mash the veges amongst it then sieve into a shallow plastic or ceramic container and place in the freezer. You want to get the fat off the top as quickly as possible and then be able to extract some of the remaining stock to make a delicious gravy. Will take about 1.5 hours to solidify – the wider the dish the better i.e. make it as shallow as you can.
Take the residual stock from the freezer and any residual from the roasted Turducken and reduce in a pot to intensify the flavours. Add port and cream to taste. Sprinkle up to 1Tbsp flour into the mix whisking all the time to thicken.
Serve. Sit back and relax. Well done!
Tip: Count the number of skewers you use so that they can all be accounted for before serving.
For a visual on this recipe check out our facebook photo album at www.facebook.com/gourmetdirect and look for the Turducken album.