Sunday, December 22, 2013

Turducken Holiday Dinner with recipes

I totally lucked out this year when I was contacted on behalf of Eschelon, the creators of the original Turducken. Everyone has heard of Turducken, right? Few of us have been fortunate enough to actually partake in one, and I am so excited to say I was given the opportunity to share my experience and how I dressed my meal with you!
turducken holiday dinner with recipes for garlic sauteed asparagus and honey butter whipped sweet potatoes

The particular Turducken I chose was stuffed with chicken apple sausage stuffing, inside a duck, inside a turkey. Duck on its own can be a fairly decadent treat, so I didn't want my sides to be too heavy. I ended up going with some whole wheat rolls, garlic sauteed asparagus, and honey butter whipped sweet potatoes.
turducken holiday dinner with recipes for garlic sauteed asparagus and honey butter whipped sweet potatoes

Because a Turducken is so dense (as you can imagine!), the directions for this size roast is to cook at 220* for about 7-1/2 hours (that's after adequately thawing your bird) to be sure it's appropriately heated all the way through. You definitely need to plan ahead before preparing this - but if you purchase one of these, you're already planning ahead! 

turducken holiday dinner with recipes for garlic sauteed asparagus and honey butter whipped sweet potatoes

A Turducken is super easy to serve, because it's actually boneless - aside from the legs and wings. Just slice directly down the center, then take slices out toward the sides after that. I was worried that the meat might be dry because of the way its cooked, but it's actually very tender, moist, and well seasoned.  It's a bit of an investment, but definitely something you should try at least once for a special occasion. With New Year's coming up - you definitely want to put this on your list of possibilities. And if you somehow don't have a plan for your Christmas dinner yet, make things easy on yourself and pick one of these up. You will be sure to impress your guests.

And now, I want to share the recipes I came up with to go along with our Turducken dinner. They're super easy, and super tasty!


Garlic Sauteed Asparagus 

minced garlic (I prefer fresh)
olive oil
sea salt

Wash and trim your asparagus. If your asparagus is particularly thick, it's always a good idea to take a vegetable peeler to the bottom few inches. Peeling that will take off the stringy, chewy, not so yummy part. I cut my asparagus in half, but you can leave yours whole if you like.

Next heat an appropriately sized frying pan to about a medium high heat. Add a couple tablespoons of olive oil, then a few cloves worth of minced garlic (more or less to taste). Let the garlic flavor infuse with the oil then add the asparagus. Sprinkle with a few pinches of sea salt. It will only take a 4-5 minutes to fully cook the asparagus, if you're like me. Cook a few additional minutes if you like it to be a little more tender.

Honey Butter Whipped Sweet Potatoes 

4-5 sweet potatoes
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup honey
chopped walnuts

Wash, peel, and cut the sweet potatoes into quarters (or smaller if you want it to cook a little quicker). Add to a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender.

When potatoes are ready, drain and place in large bowl. Using a hand mixer (or a stand mixer if you prefer) blend, adding butter and honey. Sweet potatoes are (duh) naturally sweet, so you really shouldn't need more than 1/4 cup of honey, but it's up to you. I tend to go the "add a little, then add a little more" route to be safe with new recipes like this.

Once the potatoes are a smooth consistency, add a few generous dashes of cinnamon (which you know I love), then add chopped walnuts (amount depending on how nutty you want your potatoes, I prefer less over more) and lightly blend together by hand.

Have you ever tried a Turducken? What are your holiday dinner plans? Anything fun set for New Year's? We're still trying to figure out our plans for that... Suggestions? 

Disclosure: I was provided with a Turducken for the purpose of this blog post. I was not compensated in any other way. As always, all opinions are my own. 
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