Why Did John Madden Love The Turducken…The What?

Immortalized by the former, critically acclaimed NFL sportscaster, John Madden. And popularized by the infamous New Orleans chef Paul Prudhomme, the turducken is a poultry lovers’ holiday trifecta. A deboned chicken stuffed into a deboned duck stuffed into a deboned turkey.

Madden was so enthralled with the turducken that he would award one to the players of the winning team during the Thanksgiving Day telecast.


Prudhomme trademarked the name in 1986. Making it one of his specialty dishes he served at his nationally renowned Cajun and Creole restaurant-KPaul’s Louisiana Kitchen.

From a technical standpoint, engastration is the term used for this unique cooking process, stuffing one animal inside another.

The origins of the turducken

The origins of the turducken in the U.S., however, are still a mystery. Many speculate that the specialty meat stores of South Louisiana were the brains behind its development.


However, across the pond in Great Britain, the turducken cooking process has a historical lineage dating back to Romans.

The Brits classify their turducken as a type of ballotine, a 3 bird roast reminiscent of the Yorkshire Christmas Pie. A five bird roast consisting of a goose, a turkey, a chicken, a pheasant, and a pigeon, stuffed with sausage

Just imagine the culinary opportunities available to you in preparing a turducken for a special occasion.

The options are endless – stuffed, not stuffed, braised, roasted, deep fried. And/or barbecued, the diversity of seasonings– the consummate poultry dish.


Obviously, a turducken preparation takes imagination, skill, and, most of all, patience and attention to detail.

With the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays on the horizon. Preparing a turducken would, no doubt, be the hit of the family dinner.

If the thought of preparing a turducken stimulates your adventurous spirit. And challenges your culinary instincts, then try this intriguing Taste of Home recipe.

To avoid being overwhelmed, make it a family affair.  Assign turducken duties and responsibilities.

As a matter of fact, delegate out to your dinner guests. Various aspects of the entire dinner such as sides, salads, and desserts. 

Do this so you and your team can concentrate on preparing the best turducken ever…

Happy Turducken!