Recipe: Turducken

This month we’re featuring Corked & Forked by Keith Wallace, released in August 2011. Yes, that’s two recipes in a row from this cookbook, but 1) we really like it, and 2) it’s very appropriate for the season, so we couldn’t resist. For a little more on the book, check out our last post. We promise a different book next month (…though this certainly won’t be the last we see of C&F).

While the pork chop recipe we featured was decidedly simple, this month we’re moving into more advanced territory. This recipe is a play on the traditional Turducken (where a chicken and duck are stuffed inside a turkey); it features a turkey breast for the meat, and uses the essence of both chicken and duck, without the absurd stuffing process. This playful, yet quite usable approach is a great representation of Corked & Forked’s fun approach to cooking.

Though it is certainly easier than the real thing, it does have a few tricky steps. Firstly, it requires butterflying a turkey breast (though a butcher could certainly do this), which is not quite as simple as with something uniformly shaped (such as a pork loin). The other mildly difficult step was knowing when to stop cooking the stuffing – Wallace says “when it has the consistency of bread pudding;” mine was a bit runny at the final product, however, so it may have been pulled too soon. Despite this creating a messy plate, this dish was darn tasty and a nice alternative to some of the rather boring turkey preparations out there.

TURDUCKEN

SERVES 6
1/2 CUP RENDERED DUCK FAT, DIVIDED
2 TABLESPOONS EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
5 GARLIC CLOVES, MINCED
1/4 CUP SPANISH ONION, FINELY CHOPPED
1/2 TEASPOON FINE SALT
1 TEASPOON FRESHLY GROUND BLACK PEPPER
1/2 TEASPOON FRESH ROSEMARY, CHOPPED
1/4 CUP CELERY, FINELY CHOPPED
ZEST OF 1 LEMON
(MLD Suggestion: Use 1/2 lemon – the whole thing was a bit too much)

1/2 CUP FRESH BREADCRUMBS
2 CUPS CHICKEN STOCK
1 (2 TO 3 POUND) TURKEY BREAST

Preheat your oven to 400° F.

In a saute pan over medium heat, combine 1 tablespoon of the duck fat and the olive oil. Once the fat has melted, add the garlic, onions, salt, and pepper and saute until onions are translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the rosemary, celery, lemon zest, and breadcrumbs and toss until coated. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Simmer until the mixture has thickened to the consistency of bread pudding. Let cool for 20 minutes.

With a very sharp chefs knife, and using a large cutting block, butterfly the turkey breast by holding down the breast and carefully slicing the meat in half horizontally, with your knife parallel to the cutting board. Do not out the entire way through. The end result should look something like the front and back pages of a magazine (albeit a magazine made of meat).

Flatten the butterflied turkey breasts, and them to a lé-inch thickness using either a meat tenderizer or the bottom of a heavy pot. Spread the stuffing on the turkey breast, leaving a $5-inch border all around. Starting at a long end, roll the turkey and stuffing to form a uniform log, then tie in four places with kitchen twine to secure the meat while it cooks.

Coat the turkey with the remaining duck fat, place on a sheet tray, and bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 165° F. Let rest for 10 minutes. To serve, remove the string and cut into one-inch-thick portions.

Wallace recommends a Willamette Valley Pinot Noir or Pennsylvania Cabernet Franc with this dish.

Corked and Forked :Four Seasons of Eats and Drinks
By Keith Wallace
Published by Running Press, 2011
Buy on Amazon

(Note: a review copy of this book was provided to MLD)