Thanksgiving is a pretty big occasion at my house. We generally have around 15 people, my mom and I are usually up all night preparing the meal, and this year was no exception. The menu at the Heberlein table: turducken with sausage and cornbread stuffings, mashed potatoes with real gravy, bread stuffing with vegetables, roasted baby onions with red wine, green beans with caramelized almonds, brussel sprouts with cumbled bacon, baked corn casserole, cranberry sauce, brown bread, fruit salad, plenty of appetizers, pecan pie, chocolate bourbon pecan pie, and real homemade toffee. Of course, that doesn't count all the other things that guests bring, like pumpkin pies, potato pies, applesauce, cheesecake (it's not a Heberlein family event unless someone brings cheesecake), apple pies.
We used to prepare just a regular turkey, but a few years ago we tried a turducken, and have been hooked ever since. For the uninitiated, a turducken is chicken inside of duck inside of turkey, usually with layers of stuffing in between. You can get them premade, but we always make our own (we don't debone the birds ourselves, we let the butcher do that). If you've ever wanted to know what it takes to assemble this culinary masterpiece, well, you've come to the right place! Behold, the preparation of the turducken!
1) Prepare the sausage stuffing. We like sweet Italian.
2) Prepare the cornbread stuffing.
3) Spread the deboned turkey open on the table, exposing as much meat as possible (we usually have what starts as a 20lb bird).
4) Spread the sausage stuffing on the turkey.
5) Layer the duck on the sausage stuffing. Traditionally there's only one (whole) duck breast, but we like duck, so we use three.
6) Spread cornbread stuffing on top of the duck.
7) Put the chicken breast on top of the cornbread stuffing.
8) Finish off with more sausage stuffing.
9) Take a deep breath, and prepare to fold.
11) Tie quickly.
12) Tie some more.
13) Roast at 225F for 11 hours.