What is Osturducken?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
Pears are sometimes used in an osturducken stuffing.
Pears are sometimes used in an osturducken stuffing.

An osturducken is a roast made by stuffing an ostrich with a turducken. Far from being a new species of bird, a turducken is a roast which is made by stuffing a duck with a chicken, and stuffing this roast inside a turkey. As you might imagine, an osturducken is an extremely large roast, requiring a huge group of people to consume it, and most osturducken reports are apocryphal. The construction alone of such a roast would take at least two days.

A chicken is at the center of an osturducken.
A chicken is at the center of an osturducken.

The concept of stuffing animals with other animals is far from new. The Romans, for example, were very fond of making elaborate stuffed roasts with poultry and lambs. Stuffed poultry roasts were prepared in many parts of Europe for feasts during the medieval era, often integrating exotic fowl like swans and peacocks. These roasts undoubtedly inspired the turducken, which emerged in the American South in the later part of the 20th century. Once the turducken was developed, the osterducken would have been the logical next step in the eyes of some ambitious cooks, integrating the largest known bird on Earth into an already extravagant dish.

Stuffing an ostrich with a turducken results in an extremely large meal.
Stuffing an ostrich with a turducken results in an extremely large meal.

The process of making an osturducken starts with deboning the birds involved. This creates ragged sheets of meat and skin. Many cooks like to leave the skin on for more flavor, although some choose to remove it for various reasons. The meats are then seasoned, and they may be marinated as well. Some people like to brine the meats to create a rich, savory flavor which will also retain moisture as the osturducken is cooked.

Construction of the roast starts with laying out the ostrich, skin side down, and covering it in a layer of stuffing. Then the turkey is layered on top, followed with a layer of stuffing, and so on until the chicken has been covered in stuffing. Next, the meats are rolled up into a block which is sewn together. Some people like to leave the legs of the ostrich on for aesthetic reasons, so that the finished roast will more closely resemble an actual bird.

The stuffings used in an osturducken can be incredibly diverse. They can include seafood, sausage, an assortment of vegetables, fruits like oranges and pears, mushrooms, and other ingredients. Many people like to use distinctly different flavored stuffings at each layer for variety, and the stuffing is often spicy, as well.

Cooking an osturducken can take well over 12 hours, and it requires a very large oven which maintains a stable temperature. The dish must periodically be basted as well, to keep it moist. Once the osturducken is roasted, it is allowed to rest for half an hour or more and then carved for the table.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a DelightedCooking researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a DelightedCooking researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments

anon42148

The osturducken is a noble effort, but I'm working on something I call the osturduckenaubegg, in which an osturducken is stuffed with a squab which, in turn, has been stuffed with hard-boiled eggs.

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register:
    • Pears are sometimes used in an osturducken stuffing.
      By: Lana Langlois
      Pears are sometimes used in an osturducken stuffing.
    • A chicken is at the center of an osturducken.
      By: Bill
      A chicken is at the center of an osturducken.
    • Stuffing an ostrich with a turducken results in an extremely large meal.
      By: RCH
      Stuffing an ostrich with a turducken results in an extremely large meal.