We are having a New Year's Eve party, and are going to serve roasted turducken as the main course. I'll bet most of you readers have never tried, let alone cooked a turducken, so I thought I'd share my thoughts on the subject.
Turducken is a turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken. Its invention is credited to Paul Prudhomme, the New Orleans chef who brought Cajun cooking to the masses, or to Herbert's Specialty Meats, a Houston meat market that does mail order. Herbert's charges around $75 for a frozen turducken and offers several different versions including "turduck" (no chicken) and "turken" (no duck). Check out the company's website. Regardless of who invented the dish, John Madden, the famous football coach and TV announcer is responsible for popularizing turducken outside of Cajun country.
Preparing turducken from scratch is a chore because you have to bone out all three birds. I recommend that you buy it already boned, stuffed and assembled. There are many sources online, some with free shipping, and you may live in an area where it is available locally. However, if you are up for preparing it from scratch, you will find several videos online that walk you through the process. If you would like to try Paul Prudhomme's original turducken recipe, buy a copy of his cookbook "Always Cooking", or check out the recipe online. Paul's recipe takes all day to make. Personally, I'd go out for dinner before attempting his version.
You can either roast a turducken, or, as Madden likes it, you can deep fry it. If you choose the latter method, use a deep fryer designed to do a whole turkey, and do it outdoors. You are dealing with a lot of very hot fat, and, if there is a problem, you do not want to have to deal with it in your kitchen, trust me. The turducken must be completely defrosted or it will explode when it hits the hot oil.
Your turducken may be stuffed or unstuffed, brined or not, seasoned or not. Regardless, you need to cook it until a thermometer that reaches the center reads at least 155°. Let it rest for half an hour before carving, and the temperature will rise another 10°. An issue that you have to live with is that the turkey and duck will, of necessity, be cooked at a higher temperature than the chicken. C'est la vie. If you roast it, you can use whatever method you would use for a turkey.
Prepared turduckens run 10 - 15 pounds and will feed 20 - 30 people, which works out to roughly $3/person. Not bad for a party dinner.