A turducken is weird. Like very weird. It may seem like it’s part of a recent trend in creating super over-the-top food creations all for the sake of posting a jaw-dropping photo on Instagram, but this opulent creation dates back centuries. Three incredible meats stuffed on top of one another and rolled up into one package? And a bread stuffing too? It’s the ultimate Thanksgiving dinner. But as bizarre as turducken may seem on the surface, it’s one dish that’s part of a robust culinary tradition known as engastration, which is essentially food stuffed into more food. As you slice deeper and deeper into the story (and the meat itself), it only gets more delicious and odd. Ahead, you’ll find tips for how to make a turducken and dive deep into the robust history of this popular 20th-century dish.
The History of Turducken
The late Cajun chef Paul Prudhomme claimed to have invented the turducken (a turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken) in the 1970s. He became synonymous with the dish—and even trademarked the name in 1986 (Turducken™). Yet, there are plenty of skeptics who aren’t quite sold on the origins of the turducken and Prudhomme’s ownership of the invention.