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Turf n' Turf n' Turf - A Turducken Review

November 21, 2013

Ah, Turducken - TURkey stuffed with DUCK stuffed with chickEN, hence the name. We've all heard the legendary stories of this triple stuffed fowl extravaganza. I've always been curious, but never taken the leap myself. Then Echelon Foods contacted me and asked if I'd be interested in reviewing a pre-made, ready-to-go version of the Turducken and this experimental foodie said "Hell, yes!".

The meat-inside-meat-inside-meat concept is not a new one, and has been a centerpiece of many luxury meals of royalty and gourmands of leisure through the ages. Many variations have been created, from the 17th century 'Pandora's Cushion' - a goose stuffed with a chicken stuffed with a quail, to the modern 'Ballotine', stuffed poultry leg meat stuffed with other meats, popular in cooking competitions.

But experimenting with a Turducken in our own kitchens would be a hell of a cooking (and stuffing!) feat far beyond most home cooks. That's where Echelon Foods has stepped in, providing curious home cooks with the opportunity to roast a festive Turducken in our own ovens for friends and family, with all the prep work done for us.

Echelon Turduckens come in several variations, from the large turkey with drumsticks and wings intact, stuffed with duck meat, chicken breast and sausage; to the more compact Turducken Roast, a fullyde-boned turkey stuffed with duck breast, chicken breast and sausage stuffing. I was sent a Turducken Roast to try, displayed in these pictures.

Roasting a Turducken at home is ridiculously easy, as it's 'put in the oven, set a timer and forget it' cooking. You can slow roast it at 220 degrees for approximately 5 hours or go for a quicker 350 degree cook, either way you're looking for an internal temperature of 165 degrees to indicate when the Turducken is ready to eat.

No basting is needed, but I really wanted that beautiful burnished colour and crispness to the skin, so I did baste every hour or so. I also roasted the Turducken above a pan filled with onions, garlic, celery to create the base for my Turducken Gravy, covering the vegetables with chicken stock once they were fully roasted for the last few hours of cooking.

One of the things that we really liked about the Turducken was the fact that the filling meats are slightly graduated - one end is primarily turkey, which lets those a little less brave (and children) enjoy the flavour of a turducken without getting too experimental, while those who want the full triple meat experience can choose a slice from the middle or from the duck & sausage-heavy side.

 When it came to eating the Turducken, we were all in agreement - delicious! All three meats were moist and flavourful, tender and succulent. The spicy Italian sausage stuffing was a nice break from all the richness, and the gravy that the Turducken juices made was the perfect compliment to the meats, just as it should be.

Our tasting group had some pros and cons for the Turducken experience -

Pros: Amazingly easy to prepare, flavourful, fun and entertaining, with lots of food for everyone. It was certainly a winner, and we all agreed it's well worth the price and the "Oooooo!" factor is high. The Turducken delivers on the promise of being something that will impress and entertain. Another pro is the fact that all the meats are fully de-boned, making carving easy and creating perfectly layered slices that have all the meats together in one piece.

Cons: I didn't like that the outside of the Turducken was pre-flavoured with a spiced rub and removed much of it. I personally feel like that outside flavouring should be up to me and would have preferred a simple butter basting on the outside that I could add my own herbs to. However, others might appreciate that there is NO work needed whatsoever. The price at first glace may seem high - our Turducken roast was $72, but we agreed that it could have fed up to 15 adults. With all prep and stuffing done to create final product, it's worth that price both for ease of use, the large portion sizes and how much it will delight dinner guests.

Should you buy a Turducken for your next feast? (Christmas and American Thanksgiving are almost here...) Our group say yes! All of us tasters will buy a Turducken again in the future and we had a blast trying this luxury dinner experience together.

Join us, won't you?

Echelon Turduckens are available now at grocery stores across Canada and the US. Visit their Where to Buy section to find one near you, or ask your grocery store to stock them.

Disclosure: I was provided with an Echelon Turducken for review, but have not been compensated for this post and all opinions are mine (and my tasters!) own.

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Turducken sounds wonderful! I must go find one to try it out.

Let me know if you give one a go, Sylvia. I'll be curious to hear what you think of the Turf n' Turf n' Turf experience :D

To be honest, I'd never get over all that meat... but oh my, it does look good. My friends once did a Turducken video... I should dig it out for you, it's hilarious :)

I have never had one of these... I'm not sure there is enough meat in there... don't you think the chicken and the duck should each be wrapped in bacon? Turbaduconken? Turbuckonen?

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