Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Dinner Most Fowl!

It may not be as God intended it, but then again if He was so all knowing then surely He would have thought of the Turducken when He was throwing all those animals around the planet. Instead it was left to some mad culinary genius somewhere, supposedly down in Louisiana, to one up the big man, and the result was that at my Christmas dinner table, I was able to live one of my culinary fantasies and cook up this truly fowl mashup.

Our intended before......

....and after!

This turducken....take three boned out birds: turkey, duck, chicken, stuff them into each other in the inverse order, shove bunches of andouille sausage into any remaining cavities and there you have it...came courtesy of my sister, who heard from a friend that the Charcuterie Club at the Western Culinary Institute here in PDX was putting together a few of these raris avis and offered them out to a grateful public. In this case me!

So how was it? In a word, meatalicious! This was 15 pounds of solid bird, made all the better from the bunches of pork product within that added its own fatty, smoky flavor to the meat. Cooking it couldn't have been easier. Well, it could have been easier if I had thawed it out all the way. See, when I pulled it out of the fridge where it was defrosting, it felt thawed, the turkey outer shell was soft and flexible, so with a rub of fat and some salt and pepper on the outside, into the oven it went. I was figuring about 2-1/2 hours. So at the appointed time I pull this bird out, stick in the instaread thermometer, and while one part at the rear was at 145*, the front was at 120*. I was looking for a temp of 155*. Hm, very curious. With furrowed brow, back into the oven it went as I announced that dinner would be a little later than I planned. 20 minutes later out it came. 150* back...130* front. What the f-ck?? We talked it over, and came to the conclusion that even though it felt thawed out, because of its mass it was hiding a center of dinner delaying frozen meat. Well, finally, after cranking the oven up another 40 degrees and another 20 minutes we got the best of it, and after cutting up thick, meaty slices, we really got the best of it. This was amazing. Juicy, succulent, smoky...all three layers and the sausage adding their distinct flavors. We had six hungry eaters, everyone was more stuffed than the turducken, and with our super delish sides of w's famous braised carrots and a decadent potatoes au gratin (I'll post the recipe soon...these were off the charts!), plus some pear-ginger crisp piled on at the end it was food coma time. And even though we did our best, their was pounds of leftover. Not that I'm complaining. If you ever get the chance to take on your own turducken, grab it!!

No comments: