Quick Recipes and Easy

It’s All In The Stuffing: A Turducken Christmas

Throughout the country, Christmas fundamentalists are passing on the traditional meal of turkey and ham in favor of a more exotic meal with an unequivocally Southern flavor, the turducken (tur-duck-en), a turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken.

Although the turducken is a creation generally credited to Cajuns in Louisiana, it’s the stuffing inside that will set one turducken apart from another and distinguish the flavors of one region from another. The actual turducken may be hard to assemble on your own from scratch, but thankfully, there are plenty of companies that specialize in online mail-order, which gives you more time to focus on the stuffing.

To add more traditional Christmas flavors to your turducken, consider using a chestnut stuffing. Steam 1 pound of chestnuts for about 20 minutes, remove their shells and roughly chop them. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl, and then mix in the eggs and butter, adding water if it becomes too dry. Bake it at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.

Chestnut Stuffing

1 pound chestnuts

1 chopped medium onion

3 stalks chopped celery

1 loaf crumbled and moistened stale bread

2 tablespoons parsley

1 teaspoon oregano

Salt and pepper to taste

2 eggs

1/2 cup melted butter

For the full Cajun experience, try either an Andouille sausage stuffing or a crawfish stuffing.

Andouille Sausage Stuffing

2 packages (16 ounce size) jalapeno cornbread mix

1 pound Andouille sausage

2 medium onions, chopped

2 medium bell peppers, chopped

1/2 cup butter

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 cup chicken broth

2 large eggs, well beaten

Start by baking the jalapeno cornbread. Then, use a food processor to chop the Andouille sausage finely. Sauté the diced vegetables in a skillet, and then combine all three elements with the eggs, soup and broth in a casserole dish. Bake it at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes until the top has browned.

Crawfish Cornbread Stuffing

8 ounce pack of cornbread stuffing mix

1/4 pound butter

1 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped bell pepper

1/3 cup chopped onion

1 pound coarsely chopped crawfish

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

1/2 cup chopped green onion

1 can sliced Water chestnuts

1 cup water

Sauté the celery, bell pepper and onion in butter, then add the crawfish tails and season with Cajun seasoning. Let this sauté for about 5 minutes, then mix in the green onion, cornbread stuffing mix, water chestnuts and water. Transfer it to a casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

For a turducken with a Southwestern appeal, try a Southwestern Cornbread Stuffing, with herbs, spices and vegetables indigenous to that region.

Southwestern Cornbread Stuffing

4 tablespoons butter

3 coarsely chopped onions

1 cup chopped celery

8 cloves chopped garlic

2 cans chopped green chiles

6 cups cornbread

3 teaspoons cumin

2 red bell peppers, diced

1 teaspoon sage

2 lbs spicy sausage

2 eggs

3 pinches of cayenne pepper

4 cups chicken broth

Crumble the cornbread and allow time to dry on a cookie sheet. Then, sauté the onion, celery, garlic, green chile, cumin and sage in a skillet. Remove the mixture, but use the same skillet to fry the sausage and red bell pepper. Mix everything with the cornbread while adding the cayenne pepper and the egg. Add the mixture to a casserole dish and pour the chicken broth over it, and bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes.

Spend more time working on the inside of your turducken, which will add more depth to the flavor profile and naturally moisten your turducken, by ordering your turducken from an online dealer or from your local meat market.

Elizabeth Catalanotto is a contributing writer for cajungrocer.com CajunGrocer, Louisiana’s
premier online food store offering a wide selection of Cajun and Creole products
including cajungrocer.com/fresh-foods-holiday-dishes-turducken-c-1_15_24.html turduckens, cajungrocer.com/fresh-foods-sausage-andouille-c-1_15_34.html andouille
sausages and much more.

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