Friday, November 11, 2005

Word of the Day: Osturducken

A turducken (a turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken) stuffed into an ostrich--a South African dish, following an ancient tradition:

Actually the concept underlying the turducken goes back much further than that. For example, a time-honored South African dish employed the turkey-duck-chicken combination but went a step further and stuffed it into an ostrich. (The result, obviously, was an osturducken.) An old feast dish in the Republic of Georgia consisted of an ox stuffed in succession with a calf, a lamb, a turkey, a goose, a duck, and finally a chicken. A traditional wedding dish in West Africa was a camel stuffed with, among other things, a couple of sheep, a few bustards and several carp.

In fact, the technique of stuffing one animal into another can be traced back at least to the Middle Ages. A 13th century cookbook, for example, contained a recipe for a ram stuffed with small birds. By the 19th century Dumas' Le Grand Dictionnaire de la Cuisine offered a recipe for a turkey stuffed into a pig. A Southern recipe from 1832 called for a dove stuffed into a quail, then into a guinea hen, then a duck, then a capon, then a goose, and finally a peacock or a turkey. By comparison, turducken sounds like something out of Cooking Light magazine.

I am wondering whether, via scientific misuse of the varying sizes of egg coddlers, and a recipe for scotch eggs, it would be possible to do the same with a turkey egg, a chicken egg and a quail egg. I've made scotch eggs before with turkey eggs and they're particularly yummy, turkey eggs being richer than chicken eggs and double-yolkers. There is nothing except theory and insanity to keep you from stuffing them all in succession....


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