Buttermilk turducken with maple pecan stuffing

This classic turkey, duck and chicken fusion with a contemporary twist is sure to be the talk of the Christmas table
Buttermilk brined turducken with maple pecan stuffing and crispy sage
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Buttermilk brined turducken with maple pecan stuffing and crispy sage
November 12, 2018
Preparation Time Overnight marinating
Cooking Time 5 hours
Serves 4-6

RECIPE BY Katelyn Allegra
FOOD STYLING BY Katelyn Allegra
PROP STYLING BY Katelyn Allegra, Cassandra Upton & Sophia-Maria Eygelaar


For the confit

2 duck or goose legs
spinneysFOOD Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
350g duck or goose fat
Sprig of thyme

For the maple pecan stuffing

50g dried apricots, soaked, drained and chopped
60g breadcrumbs
50g pecan nuts, toasted
20g sage leaves, chopped plus extra to garnish
¼ cup spinneysFOOD Organic Maple Syrup

For the turkey

1x whole turkey (2.5kg), defrosted and trimmed
4 chicken sausages, casings removed
Toothpicks and kitchen twine, for trussing

For the buttermilk brine

500ml buttermilk
2 tbsp fine salt

Accompaniments when cooking turkey

2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
2 onions, roughly chopped
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 bunches of sage leaves
Oil for deep-frying
Fresh bunches of herbs, to decorate


  • 1

    To make the duck or goose confit, preheat the oven to 150°C, gas mark 2. Season the duck legs well. Slowly heat the duck or goose fat in a pot then layer the duck pieces in, skin-side down, with thyme to submerge them. Place in the oven, uncovered for 1½ hours then reduce the heat to 140°C and cook for a further 2–2½ hours until the meat is tender and the fat in the skin is rendered. Remove the duck from the fat and allow to cool. Shred the meat into pieces and store in the refrigerator until needed. Keep the fat to one side.

  • 2

    To make the stuffing, combine all the ingredients together in a food processor and process until combined. Set aside until needed.

  • 3

    To debone the turkey, place the bird breast-side down. Start at the turkey’s neck and cut through the skin along the length of the spine. Using the tip of the knife and starting from the neck end, separate the meat from the rib cage on 1 side. You’re wanting to remove the carcass and leave the wings and drumsticks intact. Work towards the thigh bone, cut through the ball-and-socket joint and “pop” loose using upward pressure with your hand from under the bird. Using your thumbnail, loosen the “oyster meat” (the most tender part) from the frame. Remove the carcass (you can use this to make stock) and open up the bird.

  • 4

    To prepare the buttermilk brine, pour the buttermilk into a ziplock bag large enough to fit the turkey. Add the salt and mix well. Place the turkey in the brine and refrigerate overnight.

  • 5

    To assemble the turducken, wipe off as much of the buttermilk brine from the turkey as possible, then flatten the sausage meat onto the turkey to form a thin layer. Next place the stuffing in the centre of the turkey, topped with the duck confit. Rub the inside with the reserved duck fat. Gather up the sides of the turkey and bring them towards each other. Use toothpicks to ‘stitch’ the turkey back together so it’s firmly secured. Truss the turkey with kitchen twine

  • 6

    Remove the turkey from the fridge an hour before you want to roast it. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. In the bottom of a roasting dish, place the chopped carrots, celery and onion. Place the turkey on a rack on top of the vegetables. Rub the turkey well with duck fat. Pour in the stock, cover the entire roasting dish and turkey with tight-fitting foil. Roast for 1 hour 15 minutes. Remove the tin foil and roast until golden brown – about 15 minutes. The internal temperature of the turducken should read 68°C. Remove from the oven, cover with the foil and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes before carving. While the turducken is resting, prepare the crispy sage leaves by deep-frying them in hot oil. Drain well on paper towel. Place the bunches of herbs around the turkey to decorate.


1 Tuck the wings behind the turkey’s back and place it breast-side up. 2 Using a long piece of kitchen twine, gather the ankles together and arrange the legs on the centre of the length of twine. Wrap around a few times. 3 Bring the twine over the leg meat and flip the bird over. Cross it over the wings and pull tightly towards the neck. Secure with a knot.


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