Turducken is a dish consisting of a de-boned chicken stuffed into a de-boned duck, which is in turn stuffed into a de-boned turkey. The word turducken is a portmanteau of turkey, duck, and chicken. The dish is a form of engastration, which is a recipe method in which one animal is stuffed inside the gastric passage of another.
The thoracic cavity of the chicken/game hen and the rest of the gaps are stuffed, sometimes with a highly seasoned breadcrumb mixture or sausage meat, although some versions have a different stuffing for each bird. The result is a fairly solid layered poultry dish, suitable for cooking by braising, roasting, grilling, or barbecuing.
American football commentator John Madden popularized turducken during a National Football League broadcast. While announcing for CBS Sports he displayed a turducken and began carving it. He promoted it again on Fox Sports by awarding a turducken to players on the winning team of the Thanksgiving Bowl. On the November 9, 2008 broadcast of NBC Sunday Night Football, Madden responded to a fan's sign reading "JOHN MADDEN, BRING BACK TURDUCKEN" by calling his fixation with turducken "a thing of the past," stating that he would return to a traditional turkey for subsequent Thanksgivings.
In the United Kingdom, a turducken is a type of ballotine called a "three-bird roast" or a "royal roast". The Pure Meat Company offered a five-bird roast (a goose, a turkey, a chicken, a pheasant, and a pigeon, stuffed with sausage), described as a modern revival of the traditional Yorkshire Christmas pie, in 1989; and a three-bird roast (a duck stuffed with chicken stuffed with a pigeon, with sage and apple stuffing) in 1990. Multi-bird roasts are widely available.
In his 1807 Almanach des Gourmands, gastronomist Grimod de La Reynière presents his rôti sans pareil ("incomparable roast")—a bustard stuffed with a turkey, a goose, a pheasant, a chicken, a duck, a guinea fowl, a teal, a woodcock, a partridge, a plover, a lapwing, a quail, a thrush, a lark, an ortolan bunting and a garden warbler—although he states that, since similar roasts were produced by ancient Romans, the rôti sans pareil was not entirely novel. The final bird is very small but large enough to just hold an olive; it also suggests that, unlike modern multi-bird roasts, there was no stuffing or other packing placed in between the birds.
An early form of the recipe was Pandora's cushion, a goose stuffed with a chicken stuffed with a quail.
A vegetarian or vegan turducken, made with tofu and other meat substitutes such as seitan, is called a tofucken.
See also 
- "Engastration". Retrieved 2012-12-26.
- "Turkey Finds Its Inner Duck (and Chicken)"], The New York Times, November 20, 2002. Accessed November 21, 2007
- NBC Sunday Night Football, November 9, 2008
- Walker, Harlan (ed.). Oxford Symposium on Food & Cookery, 1990: feasting and fasting : proceedings. p. 35.
- Williams, Anne. "Send a friend a meal on wheels", The Sunday Times (London), December 2, 1990.
- Iredale, Will (November 21, 2004). "TimesOnline.co.uk Three-in-one bird is big this Christmas". The Times (London). Retrieved May 3, 2010. TimesOnline.co.uk. Retrieved on June 2, 2008
- "Pandoras Cushion". Retrieved 2012-12-26.
- Zimmer, Erin. "Tofucken, the Vegetarian Turducken and Other Interesting Meat Marriages". Serious Eats. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
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