What is turducken?

Nov 16, 2011 at 11:02 a.m. ET

As delicious as Thanksgiving turkey is, the same ol' bird can get really boring. Because of this, many Americans are reinventing their holiday menus to add some variety to a time old tradition.


One inventive way that is rapidly gaining popularity this year involves not one kind of poultry, but three! Turducken, a turkey filled with a duck stuffed chicken, is one of the hottest Thanksgiving trends out there today. As weird and rather repulsive as it sounds, thousands of families are swearing by it.

Whether you are grossed out or intrigued by this fascinating new trend, turducken is here to stay this Thanksgiving. If you are brave enough to try this giant meat trio this year, here are some questions and answers to keep in mind as you work to build your perfect turducken feast.

What exactly is turducken?

Besides being a vegetarian's worst nightmare, this concoction is a de-boned chicken stuffed into a de-boned duck which is then stuffed into a turkey. A trio of savory meats, this dish is often roasted with root vegetables and served with a hearty gravy. Many people like to also stuff these birds with herb bread stuffing for a more robust flavor.

How do you make a turducken?

Just like with a regular roast turkey, there are a few different ways to assemble and cook this triage of beasts. This Southern recipe, created by Paula Deen, is one of the simplest. You soak birds in brine overnight, stuff and tie them together with bakers twine and roast for three to five hours.

Why would you eat it?

Although the idea of three birds stuffed into one another is enough to make some people gag, others find the meat to be moist, incredibly flavorful and decadent. The juices from the chicken and duck moisten the turkey (no need for basting) and give the meat an incredibly rich and succulent flavor. Plus, this dish makes it easy to satisfy indecisive family members. When you can't decide between the three, why not eat a bite of each in one forkful?

Why the popularity?

Although this giant conglomeration of meats has been around since 1985, the turducken didn't really gain widespread popularity until famous NFL analyst, John Madden, awarded it to the winning team in the Thanksgiving Bowl. Since then, turducken has been showing up in Thanksgiving menus all across the country.

Tell us

What is your take on this new tradition? Would you ever make or eat turducken? Share in the comments section below!

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