Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Smoked Turducken

Recipe corrected at 12/11/14

Sharing the recipe for this interesting dish which I have seen around for a while but now got the chance to give it a try for the 2014 thanksgiving meal.
Here are few basic personal touches to this recipe, after reading a ton of online info:
1)Used a setup to expose the inside to hot air. This had two objectives, to reduce cooking time since my overall weight was over 20lb, second to allow extra flavor to develop inside out.
2)Extra flavor by slow smokinf for 5 hours at 275F.
3)Left birds in brine and spices for 24h before assembly
4)Developed my own stuffing recipe

Here's are the ingredients. This dish could easily feed 20 adults

  1. Brine:
  • 3gals cold tap water
  • 1 cup chicken flavor boullion (Knorr)
  • 1 TBS ground black pepper
  • 2 TBS garlic powder
  • 2 TBS onion powder
  • few rosemary bushes, blended with a cup of water
  1. 2 Meats
  • 20lb turkey
  • 4lb duck
  • 2lb chicken
  1. 3 Filling
  • 10 cups (about 13oz) unflavored croutons
  • 4 cups chopped small semi cooked carrots
  • 2 cup raisins
  • 2 cups semi cooked chopped green beans
  • 2 cups chopped green onions
  • 1 cup chopped real Parmesan cheese
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 TBS salt
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 TBS wheat flour 
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
Preparation starts at least a day earlier, when all birds needs to be deboned.  Remember that these birds are usually found frozen, so several days are required to thaw it properly before any work can start. With that in mind, deboning starts with a good knife, so get yourself the proper tool. Start with the chicken, then duck and turkey for last. The idea is that you learn your way through with the meats that doesn't need much precision, so you master on the turkey later on, which needs to retain shape and is the face of your dish. Knowing a little bit of a bird anatomy would help to get around the bones easier, but start from either back or front of the chicken and duck. In my case, I decided to follow an advice to remove the fatty duck skin and use only the breasts, thighs and legs. I later melted the duck skin to collect the fat for future use, about a cup of fat out of one duck :-).
Deboning the turkey should start from the back, working your way, leaving the legs and wings untouched. Search online videos for guidance. The objective is to rebuild the turkey with the other birds inside so it looks whole. Of course some method of tying everything together is required. You can use food grade liners, skewers, etc. I used raw pig sausage casing to sew it, which is eatable and don't need to be removed afterwards.
Here are few photos of debone action"



Once your birds are deboned, place in brine and leave in fridge for 24h before proceed.

Take the birds from brine, dry with paper towel. Prepare the filling next.
Melt butter and mix all filling ingredients thoroughly. 
Lay turkey flat with skin facing down. Add stuffing to fill empty areas where bones have been removed. Add duck meat, also filling gaps as much as possible. If using the duck as a whole with skin, set skin facing down.
At last, lay the chicken with skin facing up, so it get's exposed to heat and turn crispy (One of the benefits of leaving a open hole core). Add filling as needed in between layers. There will be filling left which I roasted separated on a rectangular pan and added around the final dish before serving.

Photos of process below

After 5h smoking at 275F

Trouble removing the inner rack. Will use a stainless pipe with few holes next time so it can be removed, allowing cutting slices that will reveal all meat layers.

Looks and tastes great. Let's hear from folks that actually tried it, anyone?