Meat Glue Week: Turducken Loaf

Once, a very, very long time ago, I made a turducken. If you’re thinking it’s a little excessive to make a turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken, it is. Throw in the fact that you need to de-bone three birds, create three different kinds of stuffing, and cook the final product for over 9 hours and I think you’ll agree that turducken is not really worth the effort.

Don’t get me wrong, I think turducken is delicious. So delicious I’ve made turducken roulades out of turkey, duck and chicken breast to minimize de-boning and cooking time. Breasts work great for turducken: you can trim them so they’re the same thickness and rolling them makes for a pretty presentation.

The problem with turducken roulade is that it doesn’t hold together very well. It almost always falls apart, which doesn’t impact the taste, but can make it a little difficult to serve. If you want roulades that stick together, it’s Meat Glue to the rescue!

Since I’ve made turducken roulade before, I decided to do a layered meatloaf in the hopes that the cross section would reveal discernibly different layers of meat.

Generally, I don’t buy turkey, except at Thanksgiving and Christmas, so I never really notice if grocery stores have turkey when it’s not turkey season. Luckily they carry turkey year round, and even more luckily, they had turkey scaloppine. The thinly sliced turkey breasts were ideal for my turducken loaf.

I’m pretty sure you can make a turducken loaf without the meat glue if you’re okay with your meats not sticking together. I don’t have much of a recipe though; I just seasoned the meats with salt and pepper, sprinkled on the meat glue, and layered them turkey, chicken, turkey, duck, turkey. I really wanted the duck skin to be super crisp so I glued that to the top layer.

The next day, I baked the turducken loaf in a 350˚F oven. A lot of fat was rendered out of the loaf, mostly from the duck skin, which crisped up into a beautiful mahogany brown. For most of the cooking time, the loaf was cooked in it’s own fat, basically making it a turducken confit.

Cooking the loaf in it’s own fat lead to a super-moist, super-tasty turducken meatloaf. For the most part, the meats glued together properly, except at some points where the gaps between the meat were too large. I should have weighed the loaf down more, which would have helped with adhesion.

Slicing into it, you could really see the different layers of meat. The simple seasoning made it so that you could really taste the essence of each meat as well. Somehow, when chicken’s next to duck and turkey, it tastes more chicken-y and vice versa. The drippings were awesome for gravy and turducken gravy is simply the best.

Here’s how we ended up eating the turducken loaf: corn, a slice of toasted white bread standing in for the stuffing, and turducken gravy slathered on top. It was a home-style hot turkey, duck and chicken sandwich, Momofuku for 2 style. A bit refined, a bit trashy and a lot delicious.

25 Comments add yours

  1. Nice! and so much easier than dealing with a Turduckin.

    Way easier! The first time I made turducken, I felt like I was de-boning forever!

    steph on May 12th, 2010 at 10:51 am
  2. Meat glue sounds awesome! Are you going to make Chang’s chicken recipe that uses the glue? And interestingly, your turducken meatloaf really looks like pork belly cause of the layers. Skin, fat, meat, fat, meat, etc. Great post!

    It does look like pork belly!

    I will be making the brick chicken.

    steph on May 12th, 2010 at 10:52 am
  3. Where do you find meat glue?

    You can get a 1 kilo bag from Amazon for $88. The best price I found was $86.50, but Amazon has that free shipping for orders over $25.
    It is also part of a molecular gastronomy sampler kit for about $32.

    The stuff is called transglutaminase, if you want to do a more in depth search than I did. Interestingly, I found it in sealer kits and hair curling solution. I wouldn’t recommend trying those.

    Andy on May 11th, 2010 at 12:44 pm
  4. Really, this stuff should not be used without a Jacob’s Ladder in the background and maniacal, cackling laughter.

    Weighed down this would look great next to Thomas Keller’s potato pave. Rectangular food, like they showed in the ’50s for food of the future.

    I was thinking that the potato pavé would look awesome as well, but I didn’t have any giant potatoes on hand.

    steph on May 12th, 2010 at 10:52 am
  5. Reminded all of our line chefs of a meal in college…You even played the side of corn too! Awesome.

    Gravy makes everything better.

    Hot gravy sandwiches with corn are the best!

    steph on May 12th, 2010 at 10:53 am
  6. Nice nails!


    steph on May 12th, 2010 at 10:54 am
  7. OMG. I just tweeted to ask where I can get meat glue. found the place… HOOT!

    Cool! I can’t wait to see your posts!!!

    steph on May 12th, 2010 at 10:55 am
  8. Turducken loaf – brilliant! Fabulous!

    Thanks! It’s so much easier to make than a regular turducken. Plus you can make it without the meat glue!

    steph on May 12th, 2010 at 10:55 am
  9. As soon as I heard about your meat glue, one word popped into my mind: turducken. And I was right! Was it at all dry? Usually when you cook the bird in the bird in the bird etc, don’t the juices kind of circulate keeping it most while cooking? Looks delish!

    It was super moist! There were so many drippings that it basically cooked in it’s own fat. I know turducken is excessive, but it’s so good!

    steph on May 12th, 2010 at 10:56 am
  10. Genius.

    Thanks! It was so good I’m thinking of making it again.

    steph on May 14th, 2010 at 10:31 am
  11. Great blog… I am glad that I am not alone among home cooks that like to play with meat glue.
    Here is a pic of frankenchickenduck that I made last year, once the meats were bound together I cooked them sous vide (if you have not used this technique I highly recommend it) then crisped the skin… seriously tasty.

    I should be working but I think I might spend the rest of the day reading your blog.

  12. Brilliant idea. I think I’ll do my riff on this concept this Thanksgiving. Having the duck skin crisp – magnificent !

  13. hey how long you cook it :) you forgot to tell us

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