Friday, November 23, 2012

Turduckenhen Day!

Hello everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day yesterday spent with your loved ones!
For the past 4 years, I have gone and spent Thanksgiving break with my friends' families,
but this year, a group of 'orphans' congregated at our apartment instead,
and we spent a wonderful afternoon together as a family of friends here at Rice!

Our Rice Family!!

In the planning stages of what turned out to be an epic food day, 
David had the idea of making a Turducken (a turkey, a duck, and a chicken),
which would have been pretty epic in itself,
but in the process of grocery shopping, the Turducken turned into a Turduckenhen
(a turkey, a duck, a chicken, and a hen!!!).
4 birds!
all in 1!

We spent a couple of minutes going back and forth in the frozen isle debating whether this additional bird was a good idea, and many skeptical faces were exchanged between David and I,
but somehow, we convinced ourselves that it was, in fact, a good idea...
how did that happen??!!
but anyway, somehow we came back with 4 birds.  
whopping 30+ pounds of meat total.

turkey, duck, chicken, and a hen.

I think we were (at least I was) quite intimidated by all of the meat,
and some of them needed to thaw anyway,
so we started on the 3 different kinds of stuffings the recipe called for.
(cornbread stuffing, spinach stuffing, and the Andouille sausage stuffing)

Cornbread stuffing!
Andouille sausage stuffing!
forgive me, but it seems that I forgot to take a picture of the spinach stuffing...  haha
but I have never experienced so many things going on in the kitchen at the same time!

Then began the deboning process of the birds.
David found this guy on TV (Youtube) who had a tutorial of how to properly debone a chicken,
and honestly, it didn't look that difficult when the guy did it on TV.
So we began with the smallest of the birds, the hen, thinking it would be a piece of cake.

boy, were we wrong.
so. difficult.
David was the champ and ended up doing all of the deboning process;
I wanted to help, but when I tried, I couldn't even find the joint I was supposed to locate,
 and even when I did find it, I couldn't seem to cut it...

Yay!  hen = deboned!  success!

Since I wasn't much of a help in the deboning process,
I made myself useful and recruited another helper in the form of my friend Alexios!
--not that he had much of a choice in the matter as he had just arrived at the Houston airport 
and I was the one picking him up   haha
He came to spend Thanksgiving with me in Houston, 
and I am so thankful and happy that I got to see him again  =)

When we got back, David had deboned all of the birds except for the turkey,
and soon all 4 of the birds were ready to be stuffed!  into each other...

First we stuffed the turkey with the cornbread, spinach, and sausage stuffings
oh, and we also added roasted red pepper to the turkey layer.

Then, we added the duck on top of all of the stuffings and repeated the stuffing process.

Then, we placed the chicken on top of the duck layer, and repeated the stuffing process again.

It should have ended there.
but because we also had the hen, we added the hen on top of all that, 
and repeated the stuffing process again...
quite literally, a mountain of food... 

After we finished, we couldn't help but just laugh at the ridiculous amount of food we had assembled.

Then came the most difficult part of creating the Turduckenhen.
making it look like a turkey...
(especially difficult because Alexios had difficulty with the gloves..  haha)

such a difficult process.
and we couldn't have done it if we had one less person there. 
Definitely a 3 person job, this thing...

But succeed we did, and the Turduckenhen went into the oven all wrapped up.
for 12 hours.

The next day, while we waited for the Turduckenhen to make its appearance,
we began on the cranberry sauce and the 'smashed' sweet potatoes.

so. easy compared to the Turduckenhen  haha

We also created leaves for our 'Thankful Tree' that we were going to put up  =)
Alexios was the best at it  haha

Finally, the 12 hour alarm went off, and we were allowed to uncover the Turduckenhen!

But we had to baste it and roast it for a couple more hours...

So while we waited for the Turduckenhen to roast a little more, 
we went for a walk in the Hermann Park in search of the branches that would make up our 'Thankful Tree'.
Such a gorgeous day!

Yay!  we found the branches for our tree!!

Men in synchronization  haha
It was completely unplanned, btw.
I think I just said, 'hey guys!' or something and they did this  lol

And when we got back, this is what we found!

I don't think I've ever been so awed by the way food looked before.
but man, this Turduckenhen just looks so epic!

Around 3, our Rice Family began to arrive, and we had fun socializing and munching on snacks and appetizers until the carving of the Turduckenhen could begin 
(30+ pounds of meat takes awhile to cool)

The wait was quite torturous, I must say, as we were constantly hovering over this epic table of food..
Everyone brought different dishes, and they all looked SO good!

Then finally, the carving began!
Go David Go!  haha

Pretty soon after the above pics were taken, we began eating, and therefore, there are no more pictures of the meal process until this one...   haha

Total decimation of the Turduckenhen!
Good work team!

It was such a wonderful afternoon filled with great company and great food,
exactly the way I wanted to spend this holiday dedicated to being thankful for what we have.

So in the spirit of Thanksgiving,
we asked everyone to write down what they were thankful for on the leaves we had prepared,
and adorn the branches we had picked up at Hermann Park.
Here is the finished product, our "Thankful Tree"!

 It sits on our dining room table, and it gives me such a warm and fuzzy feeling inside whenever I look at it!
Such a wonderful reminder of the amazing afternoon spent as the Rice family,
and also of how much I have to be thankful for in my life. =)

Thanks everyone for coming and making this 'orphaned' Thanksgiving such a special one,
thanks to all who brought dishes to share,
thanks to Alexios for traveling so far, it was so great to see you again,
and thanks to David, my co-host, for making what seemed like a daunting process a very enjoyable one!

Thanks for reading!
Happy Thanksgiving (a day late) everyone!


Anonymous said...

This is INSANE and so fun! But tell me... how is a hen different from a chicken?

Janny said...

sorry I didn't reply--blogger was being rather difficult it took me close to a month to figure out how to make my comments appear... even now, it won't let me reply to your comment directly, but my comments at least appear now..
for your question, i have NO idea what the difference is other than that a hen is a smaller hahaha
but hey, when are you coming to Seattle?!?!