Friday, April 25, 2008


Graduate school sometimes takes over your life. The course work is demanding enough that immersion is not unlikely or unrealistic. Educational synthesis abounds. Take "Medieval Romance: ENGL-530." An innocently, benign class about chivalry, knights, and Turducken?

Our class thought that an authentic medieval feast would be a delightful distraction and give us an opportunity for medieval cultural immersion. Thank god food isn't just about subsentence (or someone would have gotten rich with a food replacement pill). Food, the odd, the strange, and the bizarre particularly can be indulged in primarily for entertainment purposes. That's the way they would have done it in the Middle-Ages, I think. Our course theme is Otherness, so a few dishes may be ostracizing. Kidney Stew anyone?

So while I have a homemade Turducken basking away in my oven during its ninth hour of 225 degree bliss, I want to record how exactly it came be. Here are the life stages of a Turducken before it's baked. (Remember how Kent has a tendency to name everything? Well, here's how Terry the Turkey, Derek the Duck, and Cherrie the Chicken became Turducken:

1. The first step is boning the poultry. In a practice of destructive anatomy, the bird's appendages and chest cavity are literally ripped inside out as I dutifully coheresed, scrapped, and swore at the flesh to separate from the bone.
2. After boning, the birds are turned right-side out again. At this point, they look like sad, deflated doggie chew toys.

3. Once all the birds are boned. They get layered on on top of another, with thin slices of peeled oranges and slices of ham between each layer.

3. At this point I was I was a bit scared because the meat runneth over.
4. But with a bit of finagling, I was able to tie up the whole thing. Notice how the Turducken resembles the Michelin man, or a fat man in a parka.

5. Then, I sewed up the "seam" with a tapestry needle and cotton kitchen twine using a slip-stitch. Although Julie Child wielded a 6 inch long poultry trussing needles in a "French Chef" episode in the 60s, these devises are now obsolete. (at least in Boise) I just got the biggest, most bad-ass needle I could at a craft store. Although it was only about 3 inches long, it worked just fine.7. Here is the Turducken ready for the oven.
Stay tuned for photos of the slicing, and the entire medieval feast menu with pictures!


Joy said...

The transformation from inside-out-chicken (which was disgusting) to almost-normal-looking turkey in roasting pan is amazing. Can't wait to hear how everything turned out.

Diane said...

No, no, no, no!

You know how I feel about meat on meat. And you added ham!!! As if three kinds of meat wasn't madness already.

Was there stuffing?

Neffydd Maelgwyn said...

Thanks for the post! (Yes I know it's old.)

I'm fixin to make one for my brother-in-law's wedding & I was a bit aprehensive, but this looks great!