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What the Turducken? A History of the Turducken

Thanksgiving is supposed to be the time of year when we all state what we’re grateful for.

For most guys, there’s a handful of things to celebrate. Internet porn, beer, football and pizza immediately come to mind. But, during the last couple of years something else has found it’s way into the grateful category.

I’m talking about the one and only turducken.

If you’ve paid attention to John Madden’s commentary during Thanksgiving games, then you’ve heard of this anomaly before.

Madden Turducken What the Turducken? A History of the Turducken

In short, a turducken is a de-boned chicken inside of a de-boned duck inside a de-boned turkey.

It doesn’t get any more American than that, since we’re always looking for more foods that contain as much flesh as possible to stuff our faces with it.

So where the f*ck did this beast come from?

turducken What the Turducken? A History of the Turducken

Some believe that it could actually have come from the Middle Ages. Farmers apparently used to stuff their livestock into each other to avoid paying higher taxes, although there doesn’t seem to be a lot of evidence supporting this Robin Hood tactic. I would think if someone actually thought of such a meal, they would be declared a witch and burned at the stake.

There was a 2002 New York Times article that presented a number of theories on the history of the turducken.

The research in the article stated that the turducken could be the bastard child of a 14th century peacock dish, where the fowl was de-boned, roasted and then re-stuffed in their feathered skin.

The article also states that it could have even been spurred by a festive dish in the Republic of Georgia, where a roasted ox is stuffed successively with calf, lamb, turkey, goose, duck and chicken. I’m in such awe of that meal that my brain can’t even think of a creative name for that thing.

However, it’s more likely that such a carnivorous delight would find it’s origins right here in the States.

In the diaries of John B. Grimball, a native of Charleston in 1832, he describes a hefty dish consisting of a dove inside a quail into a guinea hen inside a duck into a capon (a castrated rooster) inside a goose and then finally shelved into a turkey or peacock. Which is further proof that everything we do today is a lazy way out when compared to our forefathers.

Despite some early incidents of slaughter at it’s best, the turducken’s roots can be more recently traced to Louisiana.

Hebert’s Speciality Meats in New Orleans have made the turducken their signature dish for quite some time. Around this time of year they ship out around 5,000 turduckens per week.

Then there’s the 1980’s popular Cajun chef Paul Prudhomme, aka Dom De Louise’s lost twin, who has claimed that he invented the turducken while in a lodge in Wyoming. Although, that seems to be really sketchy, no one can deny that Prudhomme has helped popularize it.

paulprudhomme What the Turducken? A History of the Turducken

Despite the mysterious origins of the turducken, there’s no doubt that the triple-decker bird is gaining popularity.

People are even making pigturduckens now. Wanna take a stab at what that is?

pigturducken What the Turducken? A History of the Turducken

There’s even turduckens that are deep fried, wrapped in bacon and stuffed with pork, oysters and whatever kind of meat you can jam up in there.

If you want to try making one yourself here’s a recipe. My brother and I attempted this last year, and gave up because, simply put, it was a bitch.

So if you’re lazy like me, just go ahead and order one.

You can get one at the already mentioned Hebert’s or big chains like Sam’s Club or Hickory Farms. But, I think you’d be better off getting it local, so do some Googling and Bon appetit.

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