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TURDUCKEN is a success - lot's of photo's

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by SmokinAl, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    As a lot of you know I have been researching doing a turducken for Thanksgiving this year. I practiced deboning a chicken last week & it was easier than I thought. I know this sounds crazy, but if you exercise the bird before you debone it, it relaxes the tendons & makes it easy to just cut the tendons at the joints to get the bones out. Here’s a hilarious video of what I’m talking about.

    The turkey was deboned except for the drumsticks and the middle bone in the wings. I left them on so it would look like a turkey when it was all put together. The chicken & duck were both skinned & deboned. I took all the carcasses & boiled them down with some vegetables to make stock with. I was very concerned with getting something this massive through the danger zone in time. I didn’t want to do a high temp smoke for fear it would dry the turkey out before the inside got to 165. So the solution was to cure all 3 birds. I used Pop’s brine recipe with 2 tablespoons of cure #1, and 1/2 cup of Montreal chicken seasoning added to it as well. 1 gallon of water was all that I needed. Pop’s said to brine it for 24 hours, so just to be safe I left it in for 36 hours. For the stuffing I just substituted some of the stock we made & melted butter in place of eggs & milk in Judy’s stuffing recipe. We made extra stuffing so while the turducken was resting Judy made stuffing balls & I put them in the smoker for about 1 ½ hours to get them crispy on the outside. I wanted to make sure the turkey breast had plenty of moisture in it, so I also injected it with about 2 cu. of the stock & melted butter after it was all put together & sewn up. It was so heavy when we got it done that without any bone structure it was starting to flatten out. We took a throwaway grill grate and wrapped it around the back & tied it up to make it round like a log. I dusted it with Montreal chicken seasoning & left it in the fridge overnight. I put it on the smoker on the bottom rack at 9:00 PM Wed. I put the chicken & duck skin on the top rack so it would drip on it all night long. Set the guru to 225 and went to bed. Checked it at around 6:00 AM & it was at 158 IT. So I started basting it every 45 minutes or so. It took most of the day to get to 165. 17 ½ hours total cook time to be exact. I just put a foil tent on it & it stayed hot until it was time to eat. Talk about easy carving. Friends came over with a homemade apple pie & broccoli casserole. OK now it time to get to the photo’s.

    Here' what I started with.

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    I found out the knife needs to be really sharp to debone, so I got the sharpener out & put a razor edge on it.

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    Next it time to exercise the turkey, so he's nice & relaxed.

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    See how relaxed he got!

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    Next you start at the back bone & just follow the rib cage down to the where the legs & wings connect to the breast.

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    With the joints relaxed it's just a matter of cutting the tendons & the bones are separated.

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    You do the same to both sides & you peel the meat back down the thigh & wing to get the first bone out. 

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    When you get around to the breast you have to be careful not to cut through the skin.

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    OK the carcass is out & ready for the stock pot.

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    The turkey is ready for the brine, the duck & chicken are much easier to do because you don't have to worry about cutting through the skin since they both get skinned too.

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    Next they all go into the brine/cure. The ingredients were: 1 gal. water,1 cu salt, 2 cu br. sugar, 2 tbs cure #1, 1/2 cu Montreal chicken seasoning. Kept them in it for 36 hours.

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    Found a place in the fridge for it.

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    Got the carcasses in the pot to boil down for stock.

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    Judy's getting the ingredients ready for the stuffing. Actually she didn't use the Swanson's broth, she ended up using the stock we just made.

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    OK time to put this thing together. First the turkey.

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    Then a stick of butter sliced up.

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    Then a layer of stuffing.

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    Then the duck.

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    Then more stuffing.

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    Now the chicken.

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    And finally more stuffing.

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    OK now it's time to put it together & stitch it up. I don't have any photo's of the stitching because it took both of us using both hands to do this. I held the thing together & Judy stitched it up with a huge needle & butcher's twine.

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    This is where it started to flatten out so we took a disposable grill grate & twine & tied it up to keep it round. Put it in the roasting pan breast side up & dusted it with Montreal chicken seasoning. I also injected the breast with our stock & melted butter. Then into the fridge until 9:00 PM 

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    Got the WSM going with a full ring of Kingsford & about 12-15 wood chunks mixed in. Put the turducken on the bottom rack.

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    Put the chicken & duck skin on the top rack for some self basting while I slept.

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    You guys that went to the gathering remember our friends Willie & Dana. They came over to keep me awake.

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    Of course we had a few drinks, maybe some had more than others!

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    Had a nice fire going, perfect for roast marshmellows!

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    OK it's morning & it's at about 158, so I started basting it.

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    Well 17 1/2 hours in the smoker & it's done.

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    Now it's time to defat the pan juice & make some gravy. This gadget make it so easy to get the fat out. It pours from the bottom & it separates the fat out without having to refrigerate the broth.

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    Here's the mashed potato's & gravy. In all the chaos I forgot to take a photo of the stuffing balls going in the smoker after I took the turducken out. Sorry 

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    OK it's time to slice the bird up, boy is this easy. First I gotta get a drumstick off for my buddy Willie. That's his favorite part & he looks hungry.

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    Then slice up the rest.

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    Here's a shot for you Bear!

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    The stuffing balls are ready. I think it's time to eat.

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    Lets eat!

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    This was a real fun experiment. I had no idea how it would taste or even if it would be edible. I jokingly said yesterday maybe I should smoke a ham as a backup in case we can't eat this thing. But we decided that between the potato's, brocolli casserole, & stuffing balls we would have enough to eat. Much to my surprise it turned out great. It was fork tender, juicy, and had a nice smoke flavor. Willie, Dana, & Judy said it was one of the best meals they ever ate. If you guys have never tried stuffing balls, this is a must for your to do list. After this year I'm pretty sure that a turducken will be on the menu at Thanksgiving every year from now on.

    Thanks for looking folks & Judy & I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!!!
     
    Bearcarver, Lookn4u, fagesbp and 2 others like this.
  2. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks Awesome Al! You made it look so easy. I have always wanted to make one but I didn't want  to spend  the $80+ in the store and  I have never tried boning out a bird  so I have never pulled the trigger and given it a try. I might just have to try it out. Thanks for the play by play. So was it hard to get it past the danger zone?
     
  3. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Fl
    That looks fabulous Al!!!

      Craig
     
  4. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★


    It didn't make it past the danger zone in time, but I figured it wouldn't, that's why I used cure #1 in the brine. That way the four hour rule doesn't apply. 
     
  5. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Great job Al. Man that looks tasty. I bet that was some good eats 
     
  6. Sir that is beautiful.  As a new member I can only hope to achieve that level of confidence to make something like that one day.  What a wonderful looking meal and it must be nice to be able to spend T-day in shorts outside with family and friends.
     
  7. miamirick

    miamirick Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Al

    take a close look at picture #8  looks like a male turkey and hes more than relaxed!

     that is fantastic looking    you got enough leftover to last the week

    i like that plate shot,,,looks like you need just a touch more gravy on there
     
  8. jetsknicks1

    jetsknicks1 Smoking Fanatic

    That looks awesome. I've had it from the oven before byt never smoked, it looks very tasty!
     
  9. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Great job AL [​IMG]

    That's my kinda plate.....Lots of gravy! [​IMG]
     
  10. dewetha

    dewetha Smoking Fanatic

    wow that's some feast! look excellent!
     
  11. raymo76

    raymo76 Smoking Fanatic

    Great job Al! That looks delicious, my plate would be covered in the gravy you made.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2011
  12. The video you posted posted was a good laugh, and here I thought only I used that many paper towels in under 5 minutes(I buy them in bulk packs). As for Thanksgiving looks like you were able to put on a pretty nice spread. I was a bit concerned at first to mutilate my turkey so that I could get past the danger zone, but I have to admit even two halves can look good and tasty. Glad it worked out and I really like the shot when you sliced it and could see everything going on in there.
     
  13. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Epic Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    AL...What a great thread!...Step by Step....And you did the whole thing, while sucking down...STEEL RESERVE!...You da Man!...JJ
     
  14. That looks fantastic Al. You put some effort into that one for sure. Very Impressive.
     
  15. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Al-----I can't believe it---You even outdid yourself !!!!

    This is such an awesome Step by Step !!!!

    When you were talking about doing a Turduckhen, I never even suspected you were going to cure them, and was anxious to see how you were gonna do them safely.

    You Sly Fox!!!   That was a Great way of doing it !!!!

    The BearViews are unbelievable, and that Plate is Totally Over The Top.

    You know I'm not big on Birds, but I'd be ALL OVER THAT BAD BOY !!!!

    Thanks for an Outstanding Thread, Al !!

    Bear
     
  16. kydave

    kydave Smoke Blower

    Bravo! That was great. I was just talking about trying to debone a chicken for the smoker... but a turkey? You're the man Al!
     
  17. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

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    Very impresstive there Al. You have done a great job on that turducken alright. Now if I couod only make my way down to Sebring and find some leftovers I would be in a good place. [​IMG]
     
  18. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    [​IMG] Looks great!
     
  19. jak757

    jak757 Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    What can I say that has not already been said??? Al, you are my hero.....WOW, that is impressive!!!
     
  20. jrod62

    jrod62 Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    AL, WOW !!!!!!

    great step by step !  looks great !!!!!!! [​IMG]