from Chuck’s Day Off

Prep: 2 hours plus 2 hours resting for dough

Cook: 5 hours

Serves: 20

Note: You can assemble the turducken a day ahead.  Cover and refrigerate until needed.

This has got to be the craziest, most insane recipe I’ve ever made.  It’s a chicken inside a duck inside a turkey and bakes as one big, beautiful bird.  It’s not for cooks who don’t like to get their hands dirty.  It takes a bit of time and you may need a little help, but man oh man, is it one impressive dish!  Did I mention it’s delicious?

Corn Bread

½ cups warm water (110 to 115F)

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon salt

2 teaspoons active dry yeast

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup corn flour

2 eggs, beaten with a splash of water for an egg wash

Sprinkle of coarse salt


2 tablespoons canola oil

1 lb Morteau, Toulouse or kielbasa sausage, casing removed, diced

2 celery ribs, finely chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

1 red bell pepper, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup veal or chicken stock

¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

¼ cup butter, melted

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

12 oysters, shucked, liquid reserved

Salt and freshly cracked black pepper


1 turkey, 25 lb, boned

½ cup smoked paprika

Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

1 duck, 5 lb, boned, wings discarded

1 chicken, 3 ½ lb, boned, wings discarded

1 fresh black truffle (optional)

½ cup butter, melted


2 tablespoons butter, softened

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups veal or chicken stock

½ cup drippings from the turducken, fat skimmed off

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

3 sprigs thyme leaves

Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

For the Corn Bread:

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, stir together the water, sugar and salt.  Sprinkle the yeast on top  Let sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam.  Add the flour and corn flour.  Mix on low speed until well combined.  Mix on medium speed until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the bowl, 4 to 5 minutes.  (You can also knead the dough by hand until it is smooth and elastic.)

Remove the dough from the bowl, clean and dry the bowl, and oil it well with canola oil.  Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit in a warm place for 2 hours or until doubled in size.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; dust the paper with flour.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and punch it to push the air out.  Shape it into a ball, then place it on the baking sheet.  Slash the top of your loaf.  Brush with the egg wash and sprinkle with flour and coarse salt.  Let sit in a warm spot for 1 hour or until nearly doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 400F.  Bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when the bottom is tapped.  Cool completely on a rack.

For the Stuffing:

Cut the corn bread into cubes; set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the sausage; cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes.  Add the celery, onion, red pepper, and garlic; continue cooking until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.  Deglaze with the stock.  Stir in the cornbread.  Transfer to a large bowl.  Stir in the parsley, melted butter, paprika, and oysters with their liquid.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cover and refrigerate if not using immediately.

For the Turducken:

Preheat oven to 325F.

For the Turkey:

Spread the turkey skin side down on a work surface, turning the leg, thigh and wing meat to the outside to expose as much meat as you can.  Sprinkle the meat evenly with about 3 tablespoons of the smoked paprika, patting the seasoning in with your hands.  Season with salt and pepper.

Measure 4 cups of the stuffing.  Stuff some of this stuffing into the leg, thigh, and wing cavities until full but not tightly packed.  (If too tightly packed, the legs and wings may burst open during cooking.)  Spread an even layer of the stuffing over the remaining exposed meat, ½ to ¾ inch thick.

For the Duck:

Cut away and set aside some of the duck fat.  (You can freeze the fat and use it for sautéing vegetables.)  Place the duck, skin down, on top of the stuffing, arranging the duck evenly over the stuffing.  Season the meat evenly with about 1 tablespoon of the smoked paprika, patting it in with your hands.  Season with salt and pepper.  Spread about 1 cup of the remaining stuffing evenly over the exposed duck meat, about ½ inch thick.  

For the Chicken:

Stuff the chicken with the remaining stuffing.  Place a truffle (if using) in the centre.  

Enlist someone’s help to close the turducken.  Fold the sides of the turducken together to close the bird.  Have your helper hold the turkey closed.  Using a trussing needle and cotton string, and beginning at the neck, sew the two sides together snugly but not too tightly, making stitches about 1 inch apart.  Turn the turducken breast side up and sew closed any openings.  Tie the legs together just below the ends.

With the assistance of your helper, carefully lift the turducken into a 15 x 11 x 2 ½ inch baking pan.  (This pan size is ideal because the turducken will fit snugly and retain its shape while cooking.)  Tuck in the wings. Place the pan in a slightly larger pan with sides at least 2 ½ inches high to catch the overflow of drippings during cooking.  Sprinkle the turducken with the remaining smoked paprika, patting it in with your hands. Brush with the melted butter.  

Bake for 4 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into the centre reads 165F.  Slide strong spatulas underneath the turducken (remember there are no bones to support the bird’s structure) and carefully transfer it to a platter.  Cover loosely with foil and let rest for about 15 minutes. 

For the Gravy:

In a small bowl, make a Beurre Manie by mashing together the butter and flour.  

In a medium saucepan, combine the stock, turducken drippings, mustard, thyme and Beurre Manie.  Season with salt and pepper.  Bring the gravy to a boil, whisking to dissolve the Beurre Manie.  Turn down heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.

Present the turducken to your guests before carving.  Be sure to make your slices crosswise so that each slice contains the stuffing and all three meats.  Serve with gravy.

Recipe from Chuck’s Day Off by Chuck Hughes ©2013. Published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.  https://www.harpercollins.ca/9781443416368/chucks-day-off/ 

Nada’s Tips & Tricks:  Or you can go to your butcher and get them to do all the hard work and you can cook the turducken and make the gravy.  This is one of the best holiday feasts we have had in a long time – well worth the $$ and time!  We paid $170 for 20 pounds of meat – crazy amount of money for a protein but it was oh so worth every penny.  Resist the urge to cut the breast meat the traditional way and slice it across starting at the bottom and working up to the neck area.  This will get you all three meats.