The Turducken Blog: Recipes

Following are summary-type recipes I used for the Turducken feast. As I said, I generally don't use measuring cups or spoons. But they're all very simple, and tailoring them to your tastes is generally a good way to go.

For the Turducken, I followed a recipe from chef Paul Prudhomme and one from The New York Times' Amanda Hesser. Chef Paul's recipe can be found here; sorry, Hesser's is paid content. While I went with Prudhomme on the Andouille dressing, I opted to go Hesser's route for the roasting.

Keeping the Turducken covered and at a low temperature for the first five or six hours seemed like a better way to get the insides cooking without overcooking the turkey. Uncovering the Turducken for its final stretch at a higher temp ensured even cooking and the all-important browning of the turkey skin.

Any good cornbread recipe should work for dressing. My two favorite sites to scan for ideas are the Food Network and For a more Zagat-like approach you can go to a community-based site like I generally stay away from that one out of fear that some of the self-proclaimed but in reality awful cooks I know are flooding it with their flawed recipes.

Basically, any dressing needs bell peppers (I prefer red or orange for color and zing), celery, onions, chicken stock, a poultry-friendly herb like thyme or sage, carrots and seasonings. Dressings are generally forgiving, and it's fun to play around with them.

I don't know how it is anywhere else, but in New York no one ever arrives at dinner parties on time. So something like mashed potatoes is risky, since they turn cold and gluey pretty quickly. Instead, I used cold mashed potatoes I made the day before, formed them into patties, rolled them around in seasoned flour and fried them in vegetable oil.

Just boil some russets, drain and mash with warm milk and butter. In a small pan, heat up butter and olive oil, add chopped green onions at first followed by crushed garlic, stir it around until it's soft and translucent and remove the pan from heat before things start to brown. Then I pour the mixture into the potatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste and chill. The result is tasty and pretty to look at.

I wanted my greens to be refreshing and cut some of the heaviness of the other dishes. I decided to serve green beans chilled in a salad. Simply boil them until they become tender, drain and run under cold water until they cool. Toss with chopped tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice and mint or parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste.

For those of you not familiar with Asian pears, they are very crisp and refreshing, with the flavor falling somewhere between normal pears and apples. They can be found in Korean markets, and more upscale food stores like Whole Foods are beginning to carry them.

They are great paired with spicy greens like arugula. Cut them into matchsticks and toss with arugula. Add crumbled Maytag bleu cheese and nuts that have been soaked in a mixture of soy sauce, molasses and cayenne, toasted for about 10 minutes and chopped in a processor.

Almonds, walnuts and pecans work. For a vinaigrette, use apple cider vinegar, reduced pear juice or nectar (Goya makes a nice pear nectar), a teensy bit of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.