1. Home
  2. /
  3. Uncategorized
  4. /
  5. What is a Turducken?...

What is a Turducken? A Brief History


Thanksgiving Turducken
Cajun Eds Turducken

It’s the most infamous and outrageous of all Thanksgiving main courses: the Turducken. A meat-on-meat-on-meat extravaganza, this legendary creation is truly the stuff of legend. But what is a Turducken, exactly, and where did it come from?

Where Was The Turducken Invented?

First, a little history. Cajun chef Paul Prudhomme helped popularize the Turducken –– defined by the USDA as “a deboned stuffed chicken inside a deboned stuffed duck inside a deboned stuffed turkey”–– but its actual inventor was a Cajun butcher shop called Hebert’s Specialty Meats in Maurice, Louisiana; owners Junior and Sammy Hebert claim that they created it in 1984 upon an enterprising customer’s request.

The Turducken remained largely unknown outside of Louisiana until December 1, 1996, when Glenn Mistich, the owner of a Cajun specialty meat market in Gretna, Louisiana, called Gourmet Butcher Block, presented renowned football broadcaster John Madden with a Turducken before a Saints vs. Rams game at the New Orleans Superdome. 

Madden was so enamored with the Turducken that he devoured nearly the whole thing (with his bare hands, some claim), sang its praises on live television, and continued to do so on Thanksgiving games and Monday Night Football broadcasts for years to come. And thus, a legend was born.

How is a Turducken Made?

Making a turducken is quite a complex process, and can take years to perfect. There are a few different methods, but here’s a basic rundown:

  • The turkey, duck, and chicken are all deboned. Some choose to keep the turkey wings and ends of the turkey leg bones intact, so after it’s roasted it still resembles a turkey.
  • Each bird is seasoned.
  • The turkey serves as the bottom layer, followed by a layer of stuffing, then the duck, then another layer of stuffing, then the chicken. Sometimes the two stuffings vary; some use cornbread stuffing and sausage stuffing, for example, and some forego the second layer of stuffing entirely and just use sausage. 
  • The turducken is rolled up until all that is visible is the turkey.
  • It’s then carefully trussed with thick twine.
  • It’s slow-roasted for up to five hours until fully cooked and golden-brown.
  • It’s then allowed to rest before being sliced lengthwise into slices, with each layer visible.

Where to Buy Turducken

If you’re in the market, you’ve come to the right place! Turduckens are notoriously difficult to make at home, but both of America’s most legendary purveyors, Hebert’s Specialty Meats and Gourmet Butcher Block, are shipping their iconic Turduckens nationwide on Goldbelly.

Most Famous Turduckens & Turkeys

Heberts Specialty Meats Original Turducken

Hebert’s Famous Turducken

The original turducken from Hebert’s is available in two sizes: Small Turducken (10 pounds) and Large Turducken (16 pounds). It’s seasoned with a special house spice blend, and cornbread stuffing alternates between each later.

Gourmet-Butcher Blocks All Madden Turducken

Gourmet Butcher Block’s All-Madden Turducken

Gourmet Butcher Block’s “All-Madden Turducken” –– the exact same one served to John Madden –– clocks in at a whopping 17 pounds and is stuffed with alternating layers of cornbread dressing and sausage stuffing. 

Uncle Ray’s Cajun Spicy Deep Fried Turkey

Uncle Ray’s Cajun Spicy Deep Fried Turkey

If you’re looking for something different for your holiday table but aren’t quite ready to commit to a whole turducken, then you can’t go wrong with Uncle Ray’s Cajun Spicy Deep Fried Turkey. It’s seasoned with a spicy Cajun spice blend before being deep-fried until golden brown and juicy, and ships completely cooked, ready to be heated and served.

If you’re a poultry lover, there’s more where that came from! Check out all of the Turkeys & Turduckens shipping nationwide on Goldbelly, and discover all Thanksgiving foods, from thighs to sides to pies and everything in-between!