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The History of the Turducken

When it comes to great culinary cuisine, very few things stand as a testament to the inventiveness of America. Sliced bread could be said to be one. Some could arguably consider pizza, or the bacon cheeseburger. There is one dish, however, that stands as truly AmericanAmerican – a Louisiana treat that is especially hard to argue.

The Turducken.

history of turducken

In a nutshell, the turducken is a deboned chicken stuffed inside a deboned duck, which is in turn stuffed inside a deboned turkey. Each layer is usually lined in a dressing of some sort, such as our cornbread or a variety seafood styles.

While no one knows the exact time and place that the turducken was invented, it is understood that it originated in South-Central Louisiana, in the heart of Cajun Country. Some reports claim that it was created in the kitchen of a New Orleans’ creole restaurant, Corrine Dunbar’s.  Either way, the turducken has roots in the Pelican state and that fact alone makes the crew at Cajun Crawfish especially proud.

In fact, the story of Corrine Dunbar’s is chronicled in the 1971 cookbook, “American Cooking: Creole and Acadian”. It states:

Now and then the owner of Corinne Dunbar’s will work up a special dinner. It seems that someone had heard somewhere that you can stuff a bird into a bird into a bird, just as long as you can find a bird big enough to contain the last one. He found nine birds around town, and tried it. The dish he served consisted of a snipe that was stuffed into a dove that was inserted into a quail that was placed in a squab that was put into a Cornish game hen that was tucked into a pheasant that was squeezed into a chicken that was pushed into a duck that was stuffed into a turkey. All the birds had been boned, and each had been boiled separately with seasoning to make a stock. stuffing of wild cherries and almonds was placed around each bird to make it fit snugly into the next. The final nine-bird result was poached in all the combined stocks. When the chef carved it, the partakers felt as if they were eating a single legendary bird, a sort of poached phoenix.”

 

While Louisiana would love to claim full responsibility for the turducken, the history of stuffing one bird into another goes back much further in history. One of the most talked about “stuffings” was the Roti Sans Pareil, which is 17 birds stuffed inside each other, which was created in 1807 by Grimod de La Renière. While this was the most notable historical occurrence of engastration (the culinary art of stuffing animals into other animals), there is also evidence of turducken-style cooking dating back to Roman times.

While the true history of the turducken may be lost to time, we are very glad it is here, and its future is looking bright, as its popularity continues to grow. If you would like to sample the culinary delight, we have a great selection of turduckens for sale that ship fast to your door so you can treat your family and friends. Try one today!

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