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On Thanksgiving, Sonya Thomas, a slight, 36-year-old former Burger King manager from Alexandria, Va., won the first-ever turducken eating championship, wolfing down more of the chicken-stuffed-into-a-duck-stuffed-into-a-turkey faster than anyone else on Earth.

To win the Thankgiving Meal Invitational, the 105-pound woman ate nearly eight plates of the Cajun delicacy in 12 minutes, beating out some of the best -- and biggest -- members of the International Federation of Competitive Eating. Even though Thomas is a woman who enjoys her food, able to eat 23 pulled pork sandwiches in 10


minutes, after adding the coveted turducken prize to her list of accomplishments, she remarked to reporters: "I don't really like turkey, but this was so good that I could eat more."

What kind of food elicits this reaction from a very small, extremely happy looking lady?


What the Fuck is Turducken?

Turducken is a dish, usually served around the holidays, that is made by cramming a boneless chicken into a boneless duck, which is stuffed into a boneless turkey. Three kinds of stuffing are layered between the three kinds of


meat and the monstrosity is cooked for a very long time. The end result, when cut, is a fantastic food rainbow that must be eaten to be believed.

But the road to Turducken is not a short one. The dish isn't found on many take-out menus, isn't sold in the frozen foods section at the local supermarket and must be made at home, for the most part. The entire process will take you two full days, leave you covered in blood and guts and cost more than $100. This turducken is the ultimate test of the primal desire to feed, requiring baking, boiling, broiling, butchering, sauteeing, chopping, stirring, sifting and even sewing, but once you're seated with a plate and fork you will understand.

You will learn understand why Sonya Thomas is smiling like that, pupils lost in a squint, so gluttonously happy she's grimacing through her grin.

We start with the stuffing.

The Day of Three Stuffings.

In order to compliment the three meats in turducken, the traditionalists maintain you need three stuffings. Sure, this excessiveness is probably the result of one-upsmanship between rival Cajun cooks, but to truly understand why turducken inspires madness, you need to harness this gluttony and aim it square at the kitchen.

This will take a leap of faith, so let your stomach, and not your eyes, be your guide. Believe that the salty sausage and oyster stuffing will make a perfect barrier between the savory turkey and sweet duck. Imagine how the cornbread stuffing will match the sweetness of the duck and blend nicely with the chicken. It's okay. Even if you hate everything else, feel safe. Stove Top stuffing is involved.



Chop Before You Cook.
Before you dive into the Day of Three Stuffings, do some prep work and make sure you have enough of the classic, essential stuffing ingredients: Chopped onion, celery, garlic and stale bread. You're gonna need a ton of it. Take your Ford F-150 pickup truck that gets 10 miles to the gallon down to the area BJ's Warehouse or Sam's Club, and haul away 13,000 Lbs. of onions, celery, garlic and bread. Instead of chopping, feed the 1. garlic, 2. onion and 3. celery through that 7.5 horsepower Craftsman chipper shredder in the backyard. Catch


the chopped veggies in trash bags and store in the back-up refrigerator in the garage.



How to Make Stale Bread.
With enough chopped veggies to feed China's Henan district (pop. 92.56 million) it's time to make the stale bread. Start with 1. enough bread to feed a small family (or twenty) and 2. set the oven to a really, really low temperature, around 200 degrees. Bust out the cookie sheet and 3. lay out the bread in a single layer. Yes, using the stove to make bread go stale may seem a little bit much, but it's far more sanitary than leaving the bread around the house, where 4. unclean conditions, bacteria and


the hedonism of everyday life can make your stale bread go bad.



Sausage & Oyster Stuffing

If you're going to cram a chicken into a duck into a turkey, then you might as well violate all that is holy in the universe and combine oysters and sausage in your stuffing -- the result is a surpisingly savory "spicy and salty" pairing. Those of you with less-refined senses of taste can get over the gross out factor by noting that this is a down-home Southern treat. Those you you with less refined senses of humor can note the obvious sexual overtones in the dish's name.



Sausage & Oyster Ingredients*

  You Never Sausage a Good Stuffing.
Get yourself a pound of tasty pork sausage 1. like the Olde Smithfield brand produced by Smithfield Foods. Slice open the package, 2. which will look a lot like delicious pork-flavored cookie dough. Resist the urge to eat frozen, uncooked pork 3. while chipping off pieces to heat up in a frying pan. As the pork

cooks in its own fat, continue to break it up into little pieces and 4. cook until brown. Once fully browned, 5. add the chopped garlic and onion and don't forget to set aside the number of a good plastic surgeon, so you can join the more than 200,000 people who had liposuction done last year, a four-fold increase over 1991.


  Oyster? I Hardly Know Her!
Now that your sausage, onion and garlic is simmering away, 1. get your can of mushrooms and 2. chopped celery ready to throw in the pot along with your 3. oysters. 4. The can of oysters will open up like sardines, but make sure you drain off the pussy, viscous yellow oyster juice or your stuffing will taste like high tide. 5. These are the lovely oysters. It's not so bad. They're no worse than those button mushrooms, and oysters are high in zinc. And look, oyster

stuffing was popular in the 19th Century and this is part of the turducken experience. 6. Put all everything in the pot. 7. Yes. Oysters and sausage. It's delicious. Cook until the onions go translucent.



It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Together.
Back before there was terrorism, there was this folk group called Scarsborough Fair, who made five records and then broke up. The members are just as legendary as the infighting: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme. They hadn't sang together for decades, but as this photo proves -- here they are back on tour. In a savvy business move, the popular Milk and Eggs opened for Scarsborough Fair. Milk and Eggs are in all the recipes these days. 1. Get the lawyers together and discuss who gets what cut, weighing looming historical illevancy against near-term gain. 2. Use Milk


and Eggs as a solidly likeable, but common opening act. 3. Charge $130 for tickets, $22 for programs and $40 for T-shirts. Let Baby Boomers all over the world bask in the joy of a billion years ago. Set aside for later.


  It's Goin' Down.
To finish the stuffing, you need to take all the crap you have around the kitchen and stir it together. 1. Take an entire loaf of stale bread and cut it up. 2. Microwave a quarter-stick of butter and 3. pour it over the bread cubes. 4. It's raisin time! Yum! Take a fistful of raisins and reflect on the fact that California's raisin industry was the result of Armenian immigration, and 5. know the sweetness of their gift to this country is going to make that sausage and oyster thing taste even better. 6. Add the reunited Scarsborough Fair to the mix and take a third mortgage to buy a set of $25 Tour coffeecups. 7. Stir that two pound slurry of stale bread, herbs, cooked pork and smoked oyster and 8. set the oven to 350 degrees. Take the pan you usually make brownies in and fill it with the stuffing mix. Place the whole shebang in the oven and cook for 45 minutes.

9. The end result will be golden brown and absolutely delicious, even if you can't understand why the heck people call stuffing "dressing." (Or vice versa.)

Cornbread Stuffing

Cornbread was one of the first foods that Americans stole from the Native Americans before we virtually annihilated their culture more than three centuries ago. Is there any wonder this happened? Of course not, cornbread is delicious and it makes a great base for stuffing.



How to Make Cornbread.
It's entirely possible to skip this step by going to KFC and buying a few blocks of cornbread, but you'll run the risk of spoiling your appetite, what with all that healthy, low-carb fried chicken laying around. 1. Get a box of cornbread mix and follow the directions on the side. In this case, 2. set the over to 400 degrees, 3. dump the contents of the mix into a bowl with an egg and 1/3 cup of milk, 4. and stir rapidly. The batter will be lumpy. 5. Spray a 9" x 4" loaf pan with Pam, 6. fill it

  with the cornbread batter and place in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes. 7. Remove the cornbread when the top is golden brown and 8. crumble up your fine work in a rage when you discover that fried chicken isn't as healthy as KFC wants you to believe.  


The Big Stir.
With your cornbread all crumbled, most of the hard work in making cornbread is over now. All you have to do is get a huge bowl to hold all the ingredients and something to stir it with -- we used a 50-gallon trash can and an oar -- and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Let's

  get ready to dump everything into the same bowl. 1. Once again, get some chopped onion and celery from those trash bags in the garage and chop up a handful of sage and parsley. 2. Put in those pinches of cumin (yellow), cayenne (red), tumeric and curry (tan), salt and black pepper. 3. Add an egg, 4. a handful of stale bread cubes, 5. a cup of chicken stock and 6. some handfuls of raisins and pecans. 7. Get out of here -- KFC's fried chicken isn't really healthy? What's next? Kobe Bryant, Martha Stewart and Michael Jackson going to jail? This is insanity. 8. Using your oar, punish the cornbread mixture for being so tasty and enticing your children to eat fried chicken with low-priced, high-calorie value meals. 9. Pour the mix into two greased loaf pans, while blaming others for your own lack  

of self-control. To recify this situation, vow to switch the kids over to Lunchables, which have enough sodium to dry them out like beef jerky. 10. Cook for 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Stove Top Stuffing

From a very young age, American children are taught the values of nutrition through commercials. Who can forget Tony the Tiger's lesson that eating massive quantities of sugar first thing in the morning is "grrreat." Or, the Jared from Subway, who showed the world it was possible to lose weight by eating bland sandwiches that smell funny.

But no one has been more influential on the eating habits of children than Stove Top stuffing, who pounded home the merits of eating two dinners. With that legendary string of "What time are they eating Stove Top at your house?" commercials, Stove Top single handedly broadened the concept of the meal, allowing surburbanite kids to eat at 5 and again at 7:30. It's only right that we use this fine, fine stuffing to round out our Turducken offerings.



Stove Top Ingredients.


  If You Can't Do This, There's Something Seriously Wrong With You.
Head to the store and 1. buy some Stove Top stuffing mix. 2. Measure out the butter, 3. water and 4. Stove Top, according to the directions on the can. 5. Boil the water and butter, 6. Dump in the
  Stove Top, stir, turn off the heat and put the lid on. 7. After five minutes, remove the lid and stir. Your stuffing is done. If you screwed that up, please take a quiet moment to remember that 120 years ago your relatives made the butter in this recipe from scratch and had to go down to the  

river to bang their clothing on rocks to get it clean and you can't even make instant stuffing. Look at you. Pathetic.

Introducing the Three Wise Men of Stuffing.

Congratulations. You have finished the first day of Operation: Turducken, and have not one, not two, but three different kinds of stuffing to cram into that Frankenbird. Below you can see the fruits


of your labor, which is about four pounds of stuffing, give or take.

By now, you will be extremely tired and weary from your travels on the Road to Turducken, yet glorious and replendent in the smell of your kitchen. Fight off the urge to strip naked and indulge in your primal urges, because you'll need your rest. Not to poke fun, but all you've done is dick around with bread and spices. With the introdcution of three different kinds of dead animal, the Road to Turducken is about to take a decidedly nasty turn.



Invest in some steel toed boots, cover your stuffing with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge. Get a really good night's sleep, for tomorrow the long knives come out.


Move on to Part Two...


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