To the casual observer, Canadians and Americans are practically indistinguishable from one another. I mean, sure, there are the odd physical disparities (ie. our eleventh toe, the fact that our hearts are located approximately three inches lower than that of the average American’s) but, for the most part, it’s very hard to pick a non-sandal-wearing Canadian out of a Taco Bell line-up. Closer scrutiny, however, reveals notable cultural differences between the two countries. Our money is more colorful, for instance, providing a more level playing field for near-sighted pickpockets and inspiring such uniquely Canadian terms as “She’s as blue as a fiver” or “Pink as a fifty!”. Our professional footballs are fatter, given that they were originally modelled on a pregnant woman’s abdomen, and thus easier to kick blindfolded. In Canada, ambulances are called “hospital limos” and their sirens are only half as deafening as their American counterparts because, let’s face it, they don’t need to be THAT loud. Most interestingly of all are the slight variances between our respective national holidays. Whereas our southern neighbors commemorate Arbor Day by planting trees, we commerate Armoire Days by cutting down trees and using their wood to build ornate standing closets. Rather than celebrate the politically incorrect Christmas Holi-(Holy/Holly)-days, we celebrate the less offensive religious/gender-neutral Gazpacho Days. In the U.S., Americans give thanks on the fourth Thursday of every November, a day called Thanksgiving. In Canada, Canadians give thanks on the second Monday in October, a day called Thanksgiving as well. Also, Sorry Monday.
Yes, Canadian Thanksgiving is next Monday, so I thought I’d do something special to mark the occasion, something that would incorporate the traditions of both countries. For starters, instead of celebrating October 14th or waiting for November 28th, I decided to split the difference (more or less) and celebrate on Sunday, October 13th. This way, my football buddies can partake in that most American of Thanksgiving holiday traditions…the turducken!
And what, pray tell, is a turducken? ”Turducken is a dish consisting of a de-boned chicken stuffed into a de-boned duck, which is in turn stuffed into a de-boned turkey.” (Wikipedia).
The first time I ever laid eyes on a turducken was when former football analyst John Madden prepared one prior to a game. A chicken stuffed inside a duck stuffed inside a turkey. I mean, you couldn’t get more Madden than that. And then, the more I thought about it, the more I thought: “Why stop there?” Why not get a pheasant in there? And inside the pheasant, a cornish game hen? And inside the game hen, a squab? And inside the squab, a quail? How awesome would THAT be? The correct answer is: VERY!
But maybe I get a little ahead of myself. First thing’s first. Let’s start with the simple turducken. And I do mean “simple”. I won’t be doing any of the actual deboning and stuffing myself. I’ve ordered one up for next weekend from my local butcher. All I’ll have to do is pop it in the oven for 5-6 hours and then enjoy with a side of Joel Robuchon mashed potatoes (the secret is in the butter and LOTS of it) and maybe something Canadian as well. Maple fudge? I don’t know yet.
So, how many of you have tried your hands at turducken? Any suggestions? Tips? Warnings? Do I roast it? Or do I incorporate yet another most American of traditions and drop it into a giant pot of boiling oil?