It is quite convenient for the Multi Cultural Cooking Network that the New Orléans Saints will be in the Big Super Bowl dance versus the Indianapolis Colts. Why? New Orléans is legendary for food so it makes our jobs easier. The list of foods of New Orléans are as long as the Menu items at Bubba Gump. – Crystal A. Johnson, MCCN Editor
Food History of New Orleans, A Very Multi Cultural Story
The Cajun and Creole foods of the city and south Louisiana are living examples of people adapting to their new surroundings and neighbors. Creoles are descendants of wealthy Europeans sent to establish New Orleans. Their taste tended to be richer with sauces and roux from the French, sausages from the Germans, spices and rice from the Spanish, and desserts and pastries from the Italians. These European descendants often intermarried or employed Africans from the West Indies or Africa who contributed spices, slow cooking methods, beans and rice, and the use of the tomato. Africans brought with them a vegetable used to thicken and flavor soups. We call this vegetable “okra,” but the Africans called it “gumbo,” giving the famous soup its thickness and name. Native Americans introduced the settlers to local vegetables and spices, including sassafras for file and bay leaf. Read More: The Food of New Orleans
Food History from the Institute for New Orleans History and Culture at Gywnedd Mercy College
The initial thought of a a chicken stuffed in a duck which is then stuffed in a turkey is a little hard to comprehend. It just seems like too much! However, when you find out that this specialty called turducken is said to have been created in Louisiana; it somehow all makes sense.
The history of turducken is relatively recent and has a lot of different stories, but over the years there is one that seems to stick. The story begins in 1985 – the setting…Maurice, Louisiana, home of a butcher shop called Hebert’s Specialty Meats. The History Channel show, American Eats, investigated the matter, going right to the source of the story – Sammy Hebert. Hebert, owner of the shop, tells about an old farmer who walked in one day with a turkey, duck, and chicken which he had killed in his backyard. The farmer asked Hebert to debone the birds and stuff them in one another along with some sausage dressing in between each layer. Hebert admits, “I thought he was crazy asking for that, but we did it, and it ended up not being crazy.” Come on Sammy…maybe there was just a touch of crazy in the old farmer.
Nonetheless, the result is a creation that is the stuff of Thanksgiving dreams. Orders for this Louisiana delicasy have increased more and more over the years and the more exposure it gets, the more likely you may be to see turducken on your Thanksgiving table some time in the near future. Try the following recipe for Turducken. Happy eating!
Recipe for Turducken from (Allrecipes.com)
Prep Time: 1 hour/Cooking time: 4 hours/Total Time: 5 hours (times are adjustable according to the size of turkey, chicken, and duck)
3 pounds whole chicken, boned
salt and pepper to taste
Creole seasoning to taste
1 (4 pound) duck, boned
16 pounds turkey, boned
3 cups prepared sausage and oyster dressing
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lay the boned chicken skin-side down on a platter and season liberally with salt, pepper and Creole seasoning. Lay the boned duck skin-side down on top of the chicken and season liberally with salt, pepper and Creole seasoning. Cover and refrigerate.
Lay the boned turkey skin-side down on a flat surface. Cover with a layer of cold Sausage and Oyster Dressing and push the dressing into the leg and wing cavities so they will look as if they still have bones in them.
Lay the duck on top of the turkey skin-side down and cover it with a layer of cold dressing. Lay the chicken on top of the duck skin-side down and cover it with a layer of cold dressing.
With the help of an assistant, bring the edges of the turkey skin up and fasten them together with toothpicks. Use the kitchen string to lace around the toothpicks to help hold the stuffed turkey together. Carefully place the turducken, breast up in a large roasting pan.
Roast covered for 4 hours or until the turducken is golden brown. Continue to roast uncovered for 1 hour or until a meat thermometer inserted through the thigh registers 180 degrees F. and a thermometer inserted through the stuffing registers 165 degrees F. Check the turducken every few hours to baste and remove excess liquid. There will be enough pan juices for a gallon of gravy. Carve and serve.
Picture from the Thyme for Food