Dim Meats 1/2 Turducken

6600 Clayton Road
Richmond Heights

Nov 22, 2006 at 4:00 am
The fat kid groaning on the couch was unconvincing. Uncle Marty's postprandial coma wasn't terminal, and Aunt Sarah's indigestion was quelled over the counter. Try though it might, the annual big-bird saturnalia was flagging. There was no denying it: Thanksgiving needed a makeover.

Sure, there may be anecdotal evidence of the day's gluttony, but the numbers just don't bear that out.

Consider: As a nation we recently topped the 300 million mark. Growers raise an estimated 270 million turkeys per year, and yet each Thanksgiving we collectively down a measly 45 million.

That's about 525 million pounds of turkey — a mere 1.75 pounds per person. What's wrong with us? Are we becoming vegetarians?

This is Thanksgiving, for chrissakes! The quintessential American holiday. It's time to go large and give thanks for the earth's bounty. But as the plastic surgeon's office shows us, sometimes merely a natural beauty can't accommodate our prodigious and deeply felt gratitude. We've got an extreme gratitude inside us, and no simple creature that waddles the earth will do. It's time to bring in the experts — their needles, hammers, boning knives and suturing wire.

Yes, it's time to bring in a DIM Meats 1/2 Turducken.

Now, for the five of you who remain unfamiliar with the turducken, it is a biologically deviant meal made by stuffing a boned chicken carcass into the boned carcass of a duck. Bloodied from bone cracking and tendon slicing, that boneless chimera is then stuffed into the flaccid body of a boned turkey.

And there's more: The cook then ferrets out any stray pocket of air where flesh is not pressed against flesh and squeezes as much stuffing, or, in the case of my DIM Meats 1/2 Turducken, pork-sausage stuffing, into the crevices. The result: a taxonomically impossible meatball of super-biblical proportions.

Even Adam, charged by God with naming "every living creature," would be hard pressed to name the turducken, an animal that, like Adam's son Cain, "merely lies around, and mostly on its back, with its feet up."

Translated by Mark Twain, The Diary of Adam goes into greater detail about how perplexed the first man was at the sight of his son. One can only imagine, then, how troubled Adam would have been at the sight of a turducken: "I said I believed it was an enigma; but [Eve] only admired the word without understanding it. In my judgment it is either an enigma or some kind of a bug. If it dies, I will take it apart and see what its arrangements are."

One might consider us lucky on that count. After all, the ball of flesh we call a turducken is meant to be taken apart. But as any diner who has ever tried to make anatomical sense of the turducken's rainbow layers of serried flesh will attest, cutting open the beast brings us no closer to understanding its component parts.

But at a certain point you must give up trying to determine a beast's taxonomy. You must give in to the wonderful turkey meat scented by duck, the duck meat touched by chicken and turkey, and the chicken meat brushed by duck.

It's Thanksgiving, after all, a day when thanks is measured by the pound. And even if the turducken doesn't up your personal turkey consumption, it does make us appear more thankful by increasing the country's total poultry intake — and that's reason enough for thanks.