Zara’s Space on the Web – Musings

December 25, 2009

Notes on Paula Deen’s Turducken

Filed under: Food,Recipes — zarazilla @ 1:09 am

Well I was going to post something else up here but it wasn’t very Christmassy at all, so I thought I’d save it for later and get on with this instead.

A couple weeks ago I threw a Turducken party and while I was planning, after a look around at what was available, decided on using Paula Deen’s Turducken recipe.

It is a really good recipe and everybody enjoyed it, but I thought I’d make the following notes in case anybody was interested in using the recipe.  The notes are UK-centric, but should benefit other people at some points too.

First note: You need at least a day of planning before cooking this thing!  I had an entire week and still had to hotfoot it to the local store for a couple extra ingredients. Make sure you read the entire recipe, have all the ingredients (more below), baked your cornbread, have your birds sitting in brine in the refrigerator overnight, and your bread dried in the oven for the cornmeal dressing!

Ingredients

Kosher salt, for the purposes of this recipe, is regular uniodised table salt in the UK, which is most salt sold in the UK, unless it advertises that it is iodised.[1]  Apparently the name stems from the fact that in the US most salt is iodised, and ‘koshering salt’ is used in Jewish butchers to draw out the blood and other impurities in the meat. Because ‘koshering salt’ is rather large grained, use less than the recipe specifies.  I forgot about this bit and ended up with very salty turducken.  Try about 3/4s of a cup when it asks for a cup.  NOTE however, that for other recipes you may want to use sea salt, depending on what the salt is for. Please have a look at [1] if you want to find out more.

Self-Rising Cornmeal – I looked all over for this stuff but it wasn’t stocked anywhere I could find. So what I used instead for 1 cup of the stuff was 1 tbsp baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 cup fine ground polenta/corn meal minus 1 tbsp[2]. You should be able to find Polenta/corn meal in most every supermarket, try looking in the ‘exotic foods’ section.

Saltine Crackers – These are pretty hard to get hold of if you don’t know what you’re looking for.   Take a good look first before you wander into the shops!  Over here they are mostly described as ‘italian’ crackers and you can apparently get them in Tesco under the label ‘Doriano’.  I got mine in Morrison’s in a white pack with an Italian flag on it. Unfortunately I can’t remember the name brand right now, but I’ll come back and repost it when I can find it.

Cooking

House Seasoning – I ended up with far too much of this stuff.  I would suggest making half of the recipe and you will still have far too much.

Cornbread Dressing – Similarly with the house seasoning, you make far too much of this stuff.  If possible, try to cut the recipe in half. I know it’s difficult what with 5 eggs!

Deboning – I got my butcher to debone my birds – I have no idea how I would’ve done it otherwise!  Similarly, when it came time to stitch it back up again, I handily had an ex-butcher on my team of cooks. Metal skewers with holes in them are handy for this! Otherwise you may need to poke two skewers in and thread the twine through between the skewers.

Cooking Time – Do allow an extra hour for prep time and at least one extra hour for roasting time. I eventually turned my oven up to 170 to get my birds to cook faster as there were 15 very hungry people around!

Vegetables – Because the turducken is cooked at such a low temperature, forget about roast potatoes and parsnips while your turducken is cooking. It does need to sit for 20 minutes after it’s done though, so you could do them then.

Okay I think those are all my notes. After reading all that I hope you’re not frightened off by the planning that needs to go into this thing, it IS well worth it in the end! Good luck and happy eating!

[1] Kosher Salt – Practically Edible

[2] Southern cornbread recipe – Simplyrecipes.com

P.s. Whilst researching my Turducken, I came across a Stuffed Camel Recipe. I asked Snopes whether it was real and came up with possibly the most amusing and entertaining single webpage I’ve had the joy to read in my 12 years on the internet.

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