Total time: 2 to 4 hours, plus 6 to 7 hours roasting time (timing will vary depending on how quickly the birds are boned)
Servings: 25 to 30
Note: This recipe requires a large roasting pan with a rack. Make sure the turkey does not come with a pop-up thermometer (the thermometer would need to be removed, and this can cause the skin to tear as the turducken cooks).
1 (4- to 5-pound) fresh chicken
About 2 cups dirty rice, or other stuffing, chilled
1 (5- to 6-pound) duck, thawed
About 4 cups uncooked corn-bread dressing, or other stuffing, chilled
1 (22- to 24-pound) turkey, thawed
1 pound bacon
About 6 cups andouille smoked sausage dressing, or other stuffing, chilled
3/4 cup (1 1/2 stick) butter
1/3 cup maple syrup, preferably grade "B"
1. Bone the chicken: Slice along the back through the skin to expose the bone, peeling flesh from the main cavity using your fingers or quick, short cuts from a knife. Trim the wings after the first joint (discard the wing tip and center joint, or save for another use), carefully stripping the meat away from wings and legs. (Popping the joints out of the socket makes it easier to strip the meat from the bones and cartilage.) Discard the bones, or save to make stock or gravy.
2. Stuff the chicken with the dirty rice: With the chicken skin-side down, spoon the rice over the meat, then wrap the chicken around it, forming a roll. Wrap the chicken tightly in plastic wrap and place in the freezer until the chicken just starts to firm up but is not yet frozen. (This will help it hold its shape when placed in the duck.)
3. Bone the duck in same manner. Spread the corn-bread stuffing along the inside of the duck (to a thickness of about one-half inch), within an inch of the edge so the stuffing does not spill out when duck is wrapped. Place the chicken inside of the duck and wrap the duck around the chicken to form a larger roll. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in the freezer just until the duck begins to harden but is not yet frozen.
4. Bone the turkey in same manner as the chicken and duck, but leaving the wings and drumstick bones intact (so the turducken resembles a turkey). Bone and stuff the turkey over a large cutting board or baking sheet. (This will make it easier to flip the turducken into the roasting pan after it is stitched.) Peel the breast meat away from the skin and line the skin with strips of bacon. Rearrange the breast meat over the bacon. Stuff the turkey, filling the thighs and coating the inside of the turkey with the stuffing (to a thickness of approximately one-half inch), leaving about 2 inches around the edge of the turkey so the stuffing does not spill out as the turducken is stitched. Center the stuffed duck inside the turkey.
5. Stitch the turkey using butcher's twine and a large needle, making sure to pierce the turkey skin 1 to 1 1/2 inches away from the edge (this will help keep the holes from ripping as the twine is tightened). Start from one end of the bird and thread a few holes at a time, slowly tightening the twine (as with a corset) as the turducken is threaded.
6. When the entire back of the bird is stitched closed, center a roasting rack over the bird, then place the roasting pan upside-down over the bird. Flip the turducken over, sandwiching it between the cutting board and roasting pan, as it will be fragile. (You may need help as this could be awkward and the turducken will be heavy.) The turducken can be made to this point up to a day in advance; cover and refrigerate before roasting.
7. Heat the oven to 425 degrees. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and stir in the maple syrup. Brush the maple butter over the turducken, then place it in the oven.
8. Roast the turducken for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325 degrees and continue to roast until a thermometer inserted into the center of the bird reaches 165 degrees (all of the turducken, including the stuffings, must reach this temperature), rotating the turducken every so often for even coloring. Depending on the size of the turducken, the total roasting time will be about 6 to 7 hours.
9. Remove the turducken and let rest an hour before serving. To serve, slice the turducken as you would a large loaf of bread or meatloaf, removing the wings and drumsticks as needed.
Each of 30 servings: 896 calories; 81 grams protein; 18 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 54 grams fat; 20 grams saturated fat; 332 mg. cholesterol; 5 grams sugar; 858 mg. sodium.