Take down three birds with one fork. Traditionally, turducken is a stuffing filled chicken pushed inside a duck, which is then shoved inside a turkey. This Frankenstein of fowl was created at Hebert’s Specialty Meats in Maurice, Louisiana, back in 1985. However, chef Paul Prudhomme made it famous with an assist from sports commentator John Madden, who featured the dish during his Thanksgiving Day game broadcasts. This season, chefs are showcasing their takes on the tasty triple threat.
Le Pigeon, Portland, Oregon
Not content to simply rehash the classic, chef Gabriel Rucker created the Quailducken. His elegant re-imagination subs in quail for the traditional turkey. It arrives on an artfully composed plate filled out with spice-poached quince, crispy Brussels sprouts, sunbursts of sweet potato puree, duck bacon, and a luxuriant bone marrow and port sauce. Make a reservation at Le Pigeon.
Holsteins Shakes and Buns, Las Vegas, Nevada
Turducken — now in burger form. An herbed turkey patty gets topped with duck confit dressing and a ladleful of roast chicken gravy. To add further depth, there’s a poppy, perky cranberry relish, and straight-outta-NOLA Creole-herb mayonnaise. It comes with a side of sweet potato fries for good measure. Make a reservation at Holstein Shakes and Buns.
Alvin & Friends, New Rochelle, New York
Executive chef Raymond Jackson believes each bird in his Turducken deserves a special stuffing. The turkey receives a smoked oyster and cornbread version accented with sage, thyme, and parsley. The chicken gets one starring andouille sausage. And the duck is paired with a grilled apple and walnut stuffing. Because if you’re already eating a turducken, it’s not like a few extra calories are going to matter. Make a reservation at Alvin & Friends.
Luma, Toronto, Ontario
Looking like porchetta’s classy cousin from the Bayou State, this Turducken eschews the usual presentation. The circlet of meats comes with Brussels sprouts, cranberry jalapeno salsa, an autumnal mushroom sage stuffing, and, of course, gravy. Make a reservation at Luma.
Bettola, New York, New York
Why use three proteins when you can use four? Chef Vlado Kolenic adds bacon into the mix because bacon makes everything better. He rolls up all four meats with chestnut-apple stuffing, and some spinach to lighten the load. A sliced circlet comes with baby potatoes, yams, Brussels sprouts, cranberry relish, peas, corn, and rich cognac gravy. Make a reservation at Bettola.
Nevin Martell is a Washington, D.C.-based food and travel writer and the author of several books, including Freak Show Without A Tent: Swimming with Piranhas, Getting Stoned in Fiji and Other Family Vacations. Find him on Twitter @nevinmartell and Instagram @nevinmartell.
Photo credits: Petrone (Alvin & Friends).