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max and spawn\'s most EPIC meal EVER!! pics galore

mad max beyond eggdomemad max beyond eggdome Posts: 8,134
edited 9:57AM in EggHead Forum
so, first the story. . .you all know sydney and i are big tony bourdain fans. .. back at thanksgiving we were watching his episode where he visits his wife's family on Sardinia and they are all sitting around a big table casually feasting on a big steaming bowl of snails in a simple tomato sauce, picking the snails out of the sauce, and pulling the snails out of the shells with toothpics. . .we've been eating snails for years (in my case since i first lived in europe back in 1966). .. but we always ate them the french way in garlic butter. . .these looked fabulous, cooked in the basic tomato sauce, over a wood fire, eaten with big loaves of french bread.. we knew we had to try them this way. ..

the second part of the story was that also over thanksgiving, we were watching re-runs of top-chef, and one of the episodes was a thanksgiving episode where tony bourdain was the guest judge, and the 'mission' was for teams to do thanksgiving dinners "outside the box"...and this one team comes before the judges, and tony really liked this one young punk chef, and the kid is in front of tony, and this team had really bombed with their stuff, and the kid says "i really wanted to make a turduckhen lasagna but my team vetoed me". . .and tony's eyes go wide opened, and he says "you should have made it, it would have been fantastic!!!. .. .and sydney and I looked at each other and did the old 'slap on the forehead' and said to each other "TURDUCKHEN LASAGNA"!!! "we can do that!!!" . . .and right then and there we started planning for this epic dinner for winter break, which we did tonight. .. .

first, the snails. ...actually, the wifey made the tomato sauce. ..diced tomatoes, sugar, italian seasoning, lots of basil, olive oil, sauted onion. . .let it simmer for about 4 hours on the stove. .. .then poured it over the snails in my le creuset pan, then onto an egg set up at 375 degrees indirect with a pizza stone with a chunk of cherry for about an hour . . then served with some great french bread from a little parisian cafe down the street. . .these were absolutely fantastic!!!






and now the turduckhen lasagna!!

when sydney and i started talking about this we realized a couple of things. .first, the key element that really gives a turduckhen its flavor is the duck. instead of making the turkey the top layer, we decided to make the duck the top layer. ... second, we decided to go with skinless chicken thighs and skinless turkey thighs as the inside layers so that there wouldn't be a bunch of rubbery, fatty skin in the middle, but still get the most flavor out of the chicken and turkey parts. ...second thing we thought about was, even though we wanted the flavor from the duck fat dripping down through the 'lasagna', all that fat gathering down in the bottom of the pan would leave a big old greasy pool on the bottom layers! (in fact, we ended up with almost 4 cups of collected fat at the end of the cook). what we did was use a couple of different size throw-away pans. ... the first pan, that we made the lasagna in, we punched a bunch of holes in, that way the duck fat would run through and baste everything, and then drip on through into and a larger, ribbed pan that sat underneith it!!. was a very elegent solution that really worked well, and also served as a perfect heat barrier inside the egg. . ..i also basted the top every 30 minutes or so with a butter paste. ..

and so here are the pics. .

the pan with holes cut in it:


first layer. ..6 turkey thighs seasoned with emeril's essence and smokingguitarplayer's dixieland dust


second layer. ..sage stuffing with anduie sausage


third layer, 12 chicken thighs with more of the seasoning. .


fourth layer, cornbread stuffing


and finally, the de-boned ducks. . .i left the drumsticks in for show! and did a butter paste with the same seasonings. ...i also poked a bunch of holes in the skin with a sharp knife to allow for the fat to render easier. . .


into the egg indirect at 350 degrees with a chunk of cherry in the double pan set-up as described. ..took about 3 1/2 hours. ..made sure everything was around 180 degrees. ... when i pulled it and sliced it, it came out beautifully. . .as you can see, i was able to get great "squares" out of the pan. . .you can also see that the duck skin really shrank, but like i said, it gave up almost four cups of fat, so that was ok, the flavor was unbelievable. ...i had a couple of quarts of turkey stock in the freezer left over form thanksgiving, added one of the duck carcasses to it, and some of the duck fat drippings. .. made for some great gravey!! (a special thanks to the spawn on this one tonight!! - the gravy was tasty a bit flat, she added a bit of the duck fat, some of fred's turkey seasoning, and it came great!!! THANKS SPAWN!!!!. . .






and finally, to top it all off. ..when we are at the beach over christmas break, we ate at cracker barrel a couple of times and they had this outrageous chocolate coca cola cake. found the recipe for it and made it tonight. .. . she did it 'spot-on'!!!!. ... sorry, forgot to take a pic of the cake. . .

all in all, as said before, this was an EPIC meal . . .may have been one our best ever. .. and doing the turduckhen this way is just fantastic. ..and has a big WOW factor. ..


  • HossHoss Posts: 14,600
    And,the rest of the story.......... :laugh:
  • pics galore?!?!?!

    ok. i'll wait

    you hit "post" prematurely (i hope). looks great so far, max (and sydney)
  • Fantastic Max, now thats what I was talking about, Thinking out of the box. This is going to be hard to top I think this month. Good Eats. :)
  • i hit 'send' too soon ... .go back and see it now. .. .
  • i hit send by accident. ...go back and look at it now. . man you guys are harsh. .LOL
  • at least you were kind mike!!. . .now go back and see the pics!!!!
  • EggsakleyEggsakley Posts: 1,016
    Damn. I mean Wow!
  • wow max....

    truly epic.
    sounds like the whole family was in on it too, which is always great.

    very impressed that it came out in the traditional "serving square" too, instead of sliding around. the fat rendering idea with the pan was the key i bet.

    great job ol' boy. (and fam')
  • yeah, i really think the 'holey' pan was the key. ...allowed the duck fat to baste everything all through the cook, but with soaking it all and making it all greasy. ... i was surprised how it well it sliced through and how i was able to hold the 'squares' together with a spatuala and knife. ..had a couple of neighbors and friends over as well, so i had a lot on the line!!. was either going to be an epic failure, or an epic success. ..all agreed with the later. ... and yeah, it was definitely a group effort!!
  • You said you had something awesome today and when I seen the snails I said to myself, what to say without getting Max mad now.

    That looks awesome, It looks like it was so tender and lots of flavor. ;)
  • Great pics and story!

    Hard to beat the fam working together on such a great project - especially when it turns out so well! :woohoo:
  • Little ChefLittle Chef Posts: 4,725
    NICE!!!!! :laugh: Great idea....and great execution! (Wish I could get snails like that down here.... :ermm: ) Nice going Max and Sydney!
  • it was tender mike, and the flavor was fantastic with the duck/turkey/sausage stuffing, and of course, the mad max gravy!!. . . and the snails with the tomato sauce with the rustic flavor provided by the egg was just awesome!. . .it was a feast that we won't forget for a while. . .
  • HossHoss Posts: 14,600
    LAWDAMERCEYGOODGOSHALMITEE!Why don't ya'll kick it up a notch!!!!!?????? :laugh: ;)
  • thanks michelle. ...i'll tell you, when we heard that snipet on the show (turduckhen lasagna). ...we just knew we had to try it. just made some much sense to us to layer it that way. .. .the real key though is to allow all that grease to drain out . ..

    hey, we can get snails at our harris teeter. .. .they are really cheap. ..12/14 count cans are only like $4.99

    if you can't get em, let me know, i'll buy em and send em to you. ..
  • yeah, we had a fun day together, and a good group of friends over to help eat it!!
  • LOL. . .not sure i can do much more to kick it any more than this!! this one taxed our egg creativity about as far as we can go. .LOL
  • HossHoss Posts: 14,600
    Great SHOW n cook!!! ;)
  • Beanie-BeanBeanie-Bean Posts: 3,092
    Great job--I especially like the pic with the cross-section featuring the duck on top of the lasagna. I also like the pan-in-a-pan idea for draining off the fat.
  • reelgemreelgem Posts: 4,256
    I'm at a loss for words. I'm looking at the pics and reading the tutorial and I'm just thinking...WOW!!! Turducken lasagna, who would've ever put that together. You and Spawn really nailed it. Your wife did a fantastic job on the snails, one of my favs. I've never done them that way, just the usual escargot with garlic butter. I'll have to give that a try.
  • irishrogirishrog Posts: 375
    Max, for an Irishman I am afraid to say, for once, I am speechless. That turducken is wonderful, smashing idea, great exocution, relatively inexpensive, in one word, BRILLIANT!!!
    Congratulations for seeing the potential,
    Greetings from Ireland, Roger.
  • You guys should get an Oscar or a Nobel Peace Prize.
  • BobSBobS Posts: 2,485
    That lasagna is a great idea! It allows you to scale back on quantities.
  • NoVA BillNoVA Bill Posts: 3,005

    WOW what a feast. When you asked what's the duck for I immmediately thought TURDUCKHEN but never LASAGNA. I can only imagine the flavor bonanza. And with a tomtato based snail dish....mmmmmm. BTW where did you pick up the snails from?
  • bill, you can get snails at harris the same area as canned clams. . .actually pretty cheap (around 5 bucks a dozen).. . they don't sell the shells though. ..i've had mine for over 40 years (since we lived in europe as a kid)....

    if you want shells, they sell them with cans of snails at balducci's. . . around 18 bucks for a can of a dozen snails with a dozen shells . ..
  • MaineggMainegg Posts: 7,787
    Amazing Max and Spawn! You Had me at the snails! my mouth is just a watering!! And the Lasagna...the double drip pan is the key on that, good thinking.
  • anne, i've been eating snails for over 40 years, but always in butter/garlic...when we saw bourdain eating them this way, sydney and i were just slobbering thinking about doing them like this.. .they really are great like this...

    btw...sorry about your packers. ..hate to see them lose on a play like that...
  • yeah, it wasn't too pricey when done this way .. . i was originally gonna do duck breasts on top, but they were WAY too expensive when purchased that way. . . whole ducks are much cheaper.. . .
  • "peace through turduckhen"....that's more than obama did to earn his i'm thinkin . .LOL ...
  • The snails by themselves were a home run then you really went for the kill with the turduckhen lasagna. I think you may need to patent the double pan with the holes. B) Had to have been a blast putting that together with Spawn. Thanks for sharing.
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