As I have said many tiimes before, I am NOT a fan of the traditional turkey. No matter what I have done, I have found the meat to be dry and tasteless – of course I have not yet had a deep-fried turkey, but no matter what I have done, my turkey experience has not been positive.
So this year, with the opening of Meat Craft Urban Butchery on Moody Street in Port Moody, I decided to give Thanksgiving a new twist and cook a turducken.
A benefit of a local butcher shop run by meat loving people is that they can custom make products for picky customers like me.
I asked for a “mini” turducken; boneless turkey thigh meat (rather than breast) wrapped around boneless chicken with a solid core of duck breast. I asked for extra duck breast because I LOVE the strong and sort of wild taste of duck meat.
My turducken turned out at approximately 1.2 kilos so Greg the butcher from Meat Craft suggested cooking it at 325 degrees for about an hour and half and then cranking it to 400 degrees for another 15 minutes to crisp and brown the outer skin.
We laid the turducken in a Pyrex pan with baby potatoes, ball carrots and a few purple carrots that I pulled from our front-yard garden nestled around it.
After the hour and half the internal temperature was 150 degrees – we wanted 165. The potatoes and carrots were done so we scooped them out, cranked the oven temp to 425 and put the bird back in for “crisping” time.
Fifteen minutes later we hit 165 on the internal temperature of the bird. We didn’t want to risk overcooking the meat because we were aiming to have medium rare duck breast. At the same time, we wanted to be sure the meat was adequately cooked.
I would say we hit the sweet spot for timing! The duck was medium rare and the surrounding chicken and turkey meat was full of juice. So full that as we pulled the thermometer out of the meat, clear juice bubbled out.
We collected up the juice and drippings from the pan and made a wonderful gravy.
So my thoughts on cooking a turducken – a turducken, the way I special ordered it came to $12 a pound while a fresh, free range turkey from Meat Craft cost $4 a pound. Yes, this is significantly more expensive than the traditional turkey, but to me it was clearly worthwhile.
The meat is much more flavourful and all you have is meat. There is no messy turkey-wreck to be dealt with after a long day in the kitchen, you can custom order the type of meat and size of the turducken meaning you are sure to get exactly what you like. And the cooking time is significantly shorter than the cooking time of a traditional turkey!
Perhaps the best part of my turducken experience was the morning after – a thin slice of the cold turducken flopped on a piece of lightly buttered and toasted sourdough bread made a perfect breakfast!!
The bottom-line – I will definitely be cooking turducken again.
The Meat Craft Urban Butchery is located at 114 Moody Street, just a stones throw south of St John’s Street in Port Moody.
Disclosure: The kind folks at Meat Craft Urban Butchery provided no financial or other incentive for this review of the turducken I purchased from them. As always, editorial control of all content on my blog remains with me.