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Turkey and Turducken Recipes

Updated on April 9, 2016
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty collects customs, recipes, and gadgets from the past and is particularly interested in Early American and Indigenous Peoples.


Which Bird Will You Choose?

TheTur-duc-hen is said to be a traditional Cajun Thanksgiving meat, combining a chicken inside a duck inside a turkey.

I've seen it done on TV, but up until recently I has never prepared one. It is simpler than I had thought, so below is a recipe for a Spicy Fried Cajun Style Turkey that I like very much. There is also a video presentation on the 3-bird entree.

The Tur-duc-hen can be purchased pre-assembled from many local butcher departments and specialty meat shops around the country. It likely can be deep fried as well, with the same spice rub and marinade. You will need to rub the spice run as deep into the three birds as possible and inject the marinade into all three fowl as well and that should be possible.


Cajun Fried Turkey

Spice Rub for the Turkey

  • 2 Tbsp Black Pepper, 1 Tbsp Ground Red Pepper, 1 Tbsp White Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Cumin, 1 Tbsp Ground Nutmeg, 1 Tbsp Salt

Marinade (marinate for 8 to 24 hours)

  • ¼ Cup Vegetable Oil, ¼ Cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar or Honey (I prefer the honey)
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder, ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Salt. ¼ teaspoon Ground Pepper

Turkey for Frying

  • 1 Whole Fresh 12-Lb. Turkey, or frozen and thawed.
  • 1 Meat Injector Syringe
  • 1 Turkey Deep-Fryer, to be used outside on the ground away from buildings not on a deck or patio
  • 5 Gallons Peanut or Canola Oil, high-smoke-point oils that hold up to turkey

Alton Brown - Fry Turkey Fry (1)


Alton Brown - Still Frying (2)

Alton Brown - Fried (3)

How to Deep Fry a Turkey


  • Re-read the turkey frying safety tips that came with your Turkey Fryer.
  • In mixing bowl, place all spice-rub ingredients and mix well.
  • In another shallow non-metal bowl, mix the marinade until the salt is dissolved. A metal bowl can corrode in the marinade, so don't use one.
  • Save giblets and neck for gravy, rinse turkey under cold water, and pat dry with clean towels, even inside the body cavities to prevent dangerous oil bubbling and popping.
  • Leave the legs loose and untied so the hot oil can get to all the turkey parts.
  • Cut off the wing tips and the tail, because they often catch up in the fryer basket. You can use them to make turkey stock/gravy. In fact, you can later boil the whole carcass for stock.
  • Use the spice rub all over the outside AND the inside of the turkey.
  • Inject marinade into the turkey meat, using the instructions that came with the meat injector.
  • Next, cover turkey in a pan and place it in a refrigerator for at least 8 hours but not longer than 24 hours (bacteria buildup).


  • Put your fryer's outdoor gas burner on a level dirt or grass surface outside.
  • Pour in the frying oil into the pot to 2/3 full and clip on the deep-fry thermometer at the edge of pot. Do not fail to use the thermometer, to preserve safety and avoid burning the bird or taking it out raw in the center.
  • At medium-high setting, heat oil up to 375°F -- Be patient, this may take awhile, or not.
  • Put the turkey, neck end down, onto basket/rack. As the temperature hits 375, slowly lower the bird into the oil. Remember that the oil level will RISE as the bird displaces volume and adds moisture to the oil. It will settle down shortly.
  • Check oil temperature & increase heat to a steady 350°F. IMPORANT! - at 340°F or below, oil seeps into the meat and is not good..
  • Fry turkey about 3.5 minutes per pound - That's 35 to 42 minutes for 10- to 12-pound bird. Stand right by the fryer and do not leave it for a second. If the heat goes to low, the bird will be a greasy mess, neither do you want a fire.
  • At 35 minutes, remove turkey slowly and check doneness. Use meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast - you need a reading of 170°F. In the thigh, 180°F.
  • If not done, lower the bird back into the oil and test again in 5 minutes. When done, remove slowly and carefully and drain over the pot.

Put the turkey on a serving platter, cover with foil (recyclable) and let rest 20 minutes to reabsorb and distribute its juices. Serve with Cajun Turkey Gravy from the recipe below..

Bonnie Bucqueroux Makes Tur-duc-hen and Apricot Sauce and Mentions a Jackalope


Cajun Turkey Gravy

This gravy is good with either roasted or deep fried turkey


  • Turkey broth. Make ahead from another turkey and keep it for the next time you fry one.
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped fine
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 3 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro


  • From a roasted turkey, skim excess fat from your turkey pan juices and keep 3 Tbsp. of the fat.
  • Measure the pan juices and add enough turkey broth for 2 full cups. Boil the liquid over medium high heat in the roaster to deglaze it, on the stove top, and scrape the browned meat pieces from bottom. Then stir and remove from heat.
  • In cooking pot, heat the 3 Tbsp turkey fat over medium-high heat and put in the jalapeno & garlic.
  • Cook until the pepper and garlic are soft (this is quick).
  • Stir the flour into a half cup of the pan juices to completely dissolve and add it to the pot to cook about 2 minutes (keep stirring).
  • Add lime juice, salt, pepper and pan juices.
  • Increase heat to boil, cook and stir until it thickens. Remove from heat and stir in the fragrant cilantro and serve.

Suire's Cajun Grocery and Restaurant near Cow Island LA. Traditional recipes used here.
Suire's Cajun Grocery and Restaurant near Cow Island LA. Traditional recipes used here. | Source

Suire's Grocery & Restaurant.

Cow Island LA:
Cow Island, LA 70510, USA

get directions

Suire's Grocery & Restaurant.:
13923 Louisiana 35, Kaplan, LA 70548, USA

get directions

"The most Cajun place on Earth."

Mad TV - Madden Makes Turducken

© 2008 Patty Inglish MS


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