The first time I ever heard anyone talk about making turducken, I thought it was a joke. It sounded like something John Stewart would ramble on about on late-night TV. Why on earth would you go to all the trouble of stuffing a poor chicken into a duck — and then both of them into a turkey? It didn’t even sound appealing to me — it seemed like complete overkill. One meat per meal is perfectly sufficient. But then again, I’m pretty much the only person I know who does not watch the Food Network. Ever. And it soon became clear to me that toiling over turducken was the culinary equivalent of running a marathon. It was a challenge extraordinaire.
So when some of my friends set out to “do the turducken,” it quickly morphed into a weekend-long social event. (At one point, I believe, custom T-shirts were being considered.) While I had absolutely nothing to do with the prepping of this daring dish, I did do lots of hanging out — and I did wash most of the dishes. The turducken itself? It was delicious, and the weekend was one for the memory books, but I still don’t think it is worth all the work.
Still, turducken remains on the culinary bucket list of many serious cooks. Richard Erickson of the Blue Mountain Bistro in Kingston shares his recipe for turducken — or at least his version of turducken, which, he explains, is actually more of a ballotine. Well, whatever it is, he’ll have it on his popular Thanksgiving To-Go menu this year, and we’re pretty sure that his mob of devotees will be thankful.
Speaking of Thanksgiving — this issue is packed with suggestions about different ways to celebrate that all-American holiday. Our official stance here at HV is that stuffing yourself silly and then staggering over to the couch is perfectly acceptable — if that is what you want to do. But we know there are lots more of you out there who are looking to create some new traditions, too. Take Senior Editor Polly Sparling. She’s been running marathons for years now, and is a frequent volunteer with the Mid-Hudson Road Runners Club. Unfortunately, she’s recently been sidelined with an ankle injury, but you’d better believe that otherwise she’d be out doing that organization’s five-mile Turkey Trot through LaGrange. “It’s so much fun,” she says. “You see all types of people, your kids’ friends who are home from college, old coworkers — everybody comes out for this. It’s festive and fun. And then, you really do feel you can go home and enjoy that pumpkin pie guilt-free.”
Here, we fill you in on how to get involved in a Turkey Trot, book a retreat, or pick a restaurant or personal chef if you are committed to not cooking this year.
Olivia J. Abel
Editor In Chief