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.