Sharpen your knives! You have three birds to debone if you want to make this tasty Turducken
Happy 2013! I hope you had a great break. WDTD enjoyed some time off sharing many festive feasts with friends. One standout dish last Christmas was Michael’s incredibly juicy Turducken.
Mr Barin says: This meal is ridiculous. It is four kinds of meat and takes about three days to prepare and my house was covered in a thin film of turducken grease for weeks afterwards. The only reason I did it is because all my friends have been talking about wanting to do this for at least 3 years now. It was so much fun and fed 20 or so happy tummies!
I accompanied Michael to get the birds at his local butcher the Establishment 218 and loved the whole experience of donning the jacket and entering the giant meat freezer room! If you are ever in the area I highly recommend a visit to buy some high quality meat at a reasonable wholesale price.
Michael’s tips on deboning the bird:
With a sharp knife remove the wing tip and next joint leaving the mini drumstick these can be used separately or roasted with the rest of the bones to make the stock.
Turn the bird breast side up and at the neck remove the wishbone by pulling the skin up and sliding your knife along the bone using the bone to guide your knife to make two incisions forming a v along the topside of the wishbone. Use your fingers to pull the bone free.
Turn the bird breast side down and make a cut from neck to tail along the backbone. Find the shoulder joint where the wing joins the carcass and cut the joints through the cartilage just until the joint is separated but the wing is still connected by the meat. If you can’t find the joint move it and you can feel where to cut.
Next, hold the wing and the carcass firmly and pull it away, kind of like removing a jacket until the meat is separated to the oysters on the back.
At the front put your fingers on each side of the sternum and pull down to separate the meat until the meat is clear from the carcass at the front.
Next use your knife to cut just around the oysters then lift the leg and pull it away to break the thigh joints away from the carcass then pull the meat clear from the carcass.
At this point the carcass should pull clear and you will only have the leg and wing bones left in the meat.
The fillets will be left on the carcass which can then be pulled off by sliding your fingers under them and pulling them away.
There is a bit of sinew in the fillets which needs to be removed by holding the tip of the sinew flat on your cutting board with a towel and scraping the meat off.
You can place the fillets in the bird when laying them together to make sure there is even thickness through the meat.
Finally you remove the bones in the legs and wings by cutting around the joints then using your knife to scrape (not cut) the bones from the meat. When you reach the middle joint in the leg use your knife to cut around it and you can continue scraping until it is clear. Now you should have a completely deboned bird! Repeat for the other two birds.
Putting it together:
Lay the turkey out skin side down first. Push a bit of the stuffing into the cavities in the legs and wings where the bones were.
Next rub the skin of the duck and the chicken with Cam’s Rosemary and Fig Jam then lay them down on top of the turkey. Duck first, then chicken.
Place the stuffing on top of the three birds in the middle making sure to get stuffing all over yourself and the bench-top making it as messy as possible.
Now is the tricky part, you are going to need to grab the sides of the turkey and fold them into the middle so that they overlap and bring the skin of the next around and tuck it in. Flip the whole thing over to form a neat meat parcel. Neaten it up by crossing the legs over and pulling the skin at the neck and tail over.
Tie the legs together then bind the whole thing together with loops of cooking twine.
- Who: Michael
- Home is: Waterloo, NSW
- Family origin: SE Asian allstars
- I can’t live without my: Books
- Occupation: Bartender at Shady Pines and Dental Student
- Dream job: Dentist/Bartender
- Childhood taste: Everything my mum cooked
- I will always have in my pantry: Iggy’s sourdough
- The one place I must visit: Spain (again)
- Go to meal: Huevos Flamencos (Spanish baked eggs)
- 3 Unforgettable meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner from today
- Perfect night in/out: Dinner at a new restaurant with my girlfriend then going for drinks with friends at Shady Pines so I can rub my rare night off in the other bartender’s faces
- My piece of Sydney: Danks Street
- I do my groceries at: Fratelli Fresh
- Guilty pleasure: Reddit.com/r/foodporn
- Who does the dishes: Me as I go along (truthfully my girlfriend Alex)
Ingredients - Serves 25
- 1 Turkey
- 1 Duck
- 1 Chicken
- Salt and pepper
- Cam’s Jam: Rosemary and Fig
- 3-6 Pork and fennel sausages (depending on the size of your bird)
- Iggys’ sourdough breadcrumbs
- 2-3 eggs
- Finely chopped rosemary and sage
- 3 minced cloves Garlic
- 1 Spanish onion diced
- A pinch of konbu
- Salt and pepper to taste
- The bones and wing tips from the birds
- 2 Carrots
- 1/2 a bunch of Celery
- 3 Bay leaves
- 1½ tsp Salt
- 12 Pepper
- 1/2 a cup of Brown Sugar
- 4L water
- 2 Shallots
- 1/2 a bottle of red wine
- 250gms Butter (room temprature)
- 2L of stock
- 1/2 cup of brown sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
- The Birds. You can ask the butcher to debone the birds for you, making sure that to keep the bones for the stock. However if you would like to try to do it yourself there are a few great youtube videos out there which show you how. My favourite one is here (It’s mesmerising watching him do it).
- The steps for all the birds are exactly the same so before you do the turducken, you can try practicing a few times with a chicken and when you are comfortable you can move on to the bigger birds.
- Once the birds are deboned season them all well with salt and pepper and set aside while you make the stuffing.
- The Stuffing. The stuffing I used is based on pork sausage meat, sage and rosemary but you can get creative and use whatever you would like, perhaps incorporating nuts vegetables or even cheese!
- Sweat the onions and garlic then set aside to cool.
- Remove the sausage meat from the skins and in a large bowl combine with the other ingredients, mixing with your hands until it holds together.
- The Stock and Poaching. Season then roast the bones you have removed from the birds in a medium-hot oven for 40-60 mins until golden brown.
- Roughly chop then sautee the vegetables in the largest stock pot you can possibly find, borrow, buy or steal. Then add all the bones and cover with water. Your pot might still not be big enough. Mine barely was. Add the bay leaves and peppercorns and season with salt.
- Bring to the boil then simmer for 8-10 hrs skimming the fat from the surface of the stock.
- Strain the stock then put back on the stove to bring back to a simmer, add ½ a cup of brown sugar then use a small crane to gently lower the trussed up birds into the stock. You will splash stock out of your pot.
- Poach the birds for 3-4 hrs until the meat is cooked through then remove from the stock. Make sure not to leave it in too long otherwise the bird will start to fall apart and you will have turducken stew instead (which would be delicious).
- Now clear space in your fridge. Take this opportunity to throw away that jar of sauerkraut that has been sitting in the back of your fridge unused for 3 months. You won’t have any room for anything else in your fridge but that’s fine because you also need to clear space in your stomach for the enormous meal that you will soon be eating.
- The Jus. Sweat the shallots in butter add the red wine and reduce by half. Once reduced, add the stock and brown sugar and reduce by 2/3.
- Strain then whisk in the butter a little at a time until it gives it a beautiful gloss and richness.
- You shouldn’t have to season that much because of all the goodness that the stock has been through but if required, season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Final steps (finally!) Take the poached turducken out of the fridge then let it come to room temperature. Rub the skin with salt, pepper, and brown sugar then place in a medium hot oven for 1 hour. Remember it is already cooked through so you are just warming the meat through and getting a nice roasted caramelised finish to the meat.