Wednesday, March 11, 2009

turducken: a history

i assumed the turducken was purely a result of the glutenous food fascination as of late in this fat-obsessed culture of ours,* but no! it actually has a history, and a widespread and royal one at that. look at that bursting goodness!

the edwardian-era ballotine is an early version. it consists of a piece of meat, fish, or poultry that has been boned, stuffed and then rolled and tied into a bundle. it is allegedly a frequent request of the queen and can be prepared for up to 21 people! maybe they start with an ostrich or something.

the french have their twist too, creating the largerst recorded nested bird roast in th early 19th century with 17 birds- a bustard stuffed with a turkey, a goose, a pheasant, a chicken, a duck, a guinea fowl, a teal, a woodcock, a partridge, a plover, a lapwing, a quail, a thrush, a lark, an ortolan bunting and a garden warbler. the final bird is small enough that it can be stuffed with a single olive; it also suggests that, unlike modern multi-bird roasts, there was no stuffing or other packing placed in between the birds. fyi-- this dish probably could not be legally recreated in the modern era as many of the listed birds are now protected species.

and i'm inclined to poke around and find out if this ever happened!

here's a great step-by-step on how to prepare a bird to be stuffed another bird:

1. Locate the wish bone, slice down either side and remove.
2. Cut the skin down the center of the back, neck to tail.
3. Begin separating the skin and meat from the carcass using small cuts, beginning at the neck. 4. Remove the humerus, which is a saber-like bone near wing.
5. Cut through the wing joint.
6. Work down to the oyster, cut through and separate the thigh joint from the carcass. Cut meat away to the keel bone or center of the breast. (Do the other side)
7. Pull the whole carcass free of meat.
8. Holding the thigh joint scrape the meat to the knee.
9. Cut around the cartilage and locate the top of the leg bone.
10. Scrape to the end of the drumstick.
11. Cut the end of the drumstick with poultry shears {or a very sharp knife}. Turn leg right side out. (Do the other side)
12. Holding the top of the wing joint, scrape the meat to the first joint.
13. Snap the bone out of its joint. (Do the other side)

*if you haven't seen this site, get on it.

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