This dinner was a turkey

It looks great. Looks can be deceiving.


I’ve been excited for 2 weeks about the turducken I ordered for Thanksgiving Dinner.

This silly dish is apparently a Southern idea, popularized by John Madden as he called football games.  Stuff a duck into a chicken, stuff that into a turkey, fill all the nooks and crannies with stuffing, and you’ve got a meal fit for a football announcer.

We saw this one in the Neiman Marcus catalog, and decided to splurge.  Fed-Ex brings it to the front door, frozen and packed in dry ice. A couple of days of careful thawing and we were ready to go.

The instructions are clear–cook covered in foil at 375º for 4 hours, then uncover and cook for another hour.  Into the oven it went, and then at 4 hours, as I uncovered it, I decided to insert a thermometer to get everything just right.  To my great surprise, the damn thing was already more than sufficiently cooked–the thermometer read 170, a solid hour earlier than expected.  I took it out, pushed the cooking of all the side dishes forward a bit, and we had dinner.

Overcooked turducken is not a good meal.  It was dry and hard, didn’t stay together well, didn’t cut into beautiful slices, didn’t have some really wonderful dressing (we had the dirty rice and cornbread stuffing), just wasn’t good at all.

The side dishes everyone contributed were excellent.  Susan Rowley made the cranberry sauce and the sweet potato casserole.  Karl Rowley made the carrots.  Daughter Kate made the butternut squash and the brussels sprouts.  I made the bread and the mashed spuds.  Dinner was a fantastic celebration of family with a variety of good things and one miserable, dry centerpiece.

Kate brought a pumpkin cheesecake.  Julie brought a pumpkin pie.  I whipped the cream.  Dessert was just a few thousand calories more than any of us needed, but what is need when it comes to dessert?

If I ever have a turducken again, I’ll get it from the local grocery.  I think Neiman Marcus just doesn’t know how to make food for the proletariat.


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