Every day as we would drive up and down the Tamiami Trail in Sarasota, FL, we would pass a sign that said “Home of the TurDucKen: As seen on the Food Network.” It was the kind of sign that couldn’t help but make me curious. It hung proudly on the Alpine Steakhouse, which is a sort of an old-fashioned meat market, deli and diner under one not-so-lofty roof.
I remember first hearing about TurDucKen a few Thanksgivings ago. John Madden popularized it when he carved a TurDucKen with his bare hands on air in 2008. People seem to like to make fun of TurDucKen, but I’ve always thought it sounded good: a deboned duck stuffed inside a deboned chicken stuffed inside a deboned turkey. As a fan of the fowl, I had long wanted to try this Southern dish.
So how was the TurDucKen? I really liked it! It was a bit too heavy though, since it’s a thick slab of meat, or rather three meats. They sort of skimped on the duck portion, but I think that was just how my TurDucKen was sliced. If you could believe it, there was stuffing too, made with spinach and and Andouille sausage. It came with mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and gravy, which I asked for on the side. There was also a roasted red pepper on it as a garnish — perhaps to add some much needed color to the dish.
You can watch the Food Network video below — it appeared on episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, which is hosted by Guy Fieri. The dish looks a lot more appetizing in the video than it does in my photo!