Turducken: Turkey Duck and Chicken

Hope you're hungry! This Does it Work tests the Turducken, an alternative to your traditional turkey meal. Turducken is a hen inside a duck inside a turkey. And it's been around since Imperial Rome. They put all three birds together, just because they could, to show-off their wealth. You'd do it because it tastes good. Or does it?

Ready-to-bake Turducken -- also spelled Tur-duc-hen -- is flat because all the bones are removed. "You actually have to go inside the bird, to the inner cavity, and you have to take out the breast bone and all the other bones, and even the thighs in the legs," says DaWayne Schaaf, a chef at Celebrations restaurant in Cape Girardeau. "You have to take it all out from the inside, without actually tearing the meat of the bird."

Yea, we didn't want to go through all that hassle, either. So we bought a frozen Turducken for $50 at Wal-Mart. Every layer is filled with stuffing, and seasoned. But this bird looks a little bland on the outside, so it needs some dressing-up. "Most people want gravy with their turkey," DaWayne explains. "So we'll start with a base of vegetables."

Dewayne nests the bird on some onions, carrots and celery. Then bastes it with butter to keep it moist and help it brown. Then he sprinkles on salt, pepper, and sage, before topping it off with several bay leaves. On goes the aluminum tent, with one side left loose for ventilation. Then it's into the oven for -- in this case -- 4 and 1/2 hours. With an hour left, DeWayne whips together a syrup glaze... brushes it onto the bird... then lets it baste until it reaches an internal temperature of 170 degrees. And here's an important tip: make sure the dressing reaches that temperature, too, because most food poisoning stems from the stuffing, not the meat.

When it's fully cooked, it needs to sit for 5 to 10 minutes to let the juices redistribute. Carving this bird is easy, just remove the wings and legs, then begin slicing the boneless turducken. The darker part is duck. Turkey and chicken are both very white meats.

DeWayne then takes his very first taste of turducken. "It's actually very moist," DeWayne describes. "It's more moist than most turkeys are. It's a very light flavor, and I don't think it'll put anybody off."

Amy would love to taste Turducken, but is allergic to shrimp. This particular variety of Turducken has shrimp stuffing in it. So you have to really be careful about the type of stuffing inside. Make sure you look closely at the label before you buy one.

To get a bigger taste test, Amy takes the Turducken to the station and lets everyone at KFVS have a nibble. "Yummmnn!" says Mike Shain. "It's delicious."

"It's good," says News Director Brandon Sherer. "It tastes like the turkey you get in microwave dinners. But that's not bad!"

"This doesn't taste like regular turkey," Melissa Lundberg agrees. "It's not bad, but I'd rather have regular turkey."

"It tastes like chicken," Senior Producer Duncan Phenix simply says. Hey, there's one in every bunch!

"I think it's good," says Producer Tracy Short. "I don't know what I have here, but it's good!"

"Do you really taste the shrimp?" asks Cheryl Dietrich, a promotion assistant. "I didn't taste the shrimp," Local Sales Manager David Stockard answers. "But it changes the flavor of the turkey."

Turducken gives you something to talk about that a traditional turkey meal can't, but the price may put a damper on your appetite. So we give Turducken a 'B.' You can find limited supplies of the frozen variety at Wal-Mart.