It is not what nature intended: eating three birds at once.
“Oh God, yeah, yesterday alone we sold eight,” said Mark Giosi, meat manager at Roche Bros. in Quincy, which is expecting another shipment of pre-made turduckens today. “They’ve been buying them like crazy for the past few days. I’m watching them go out the door.”
In Cambridge, Ronald Savenor has made it his signature holiday dish at Savenor’s Market, a butcher shop with locations in Cambridge and Beacon Hill. He said he took on the challenge of making the concoction fresh -- using local turkeys -- after customer requests seven years ago.
“People started asking about them, so I said, ‘Oh, I got to do my homework,’” he said. “Then I just started making them. And like anything, once you practice, you just keep getting better.”
Now the 52-year-old makes dozens every holiday. It took one 12-hour session to make 43 turduckens this week, he said, nearly twice as many as last Turkey Day. Savenor claims to be the local expert, the only one who makes homemade turduckens in the area.
“I can tell you for a fact, no one’s turduckens eat as well as mine,” he said. “I’m like an artist. Every one that goes out there has my name on it. I take a personal pride in it; it’s got to look right. Every one I do I want people to eat and say, ‘Wow, this is just awesome.’ ”
Across the river, Savenor’s Beacon Hill meat manager, Tom Daly, described the process of creating a turducken.
After de-boning the birds, “You put the duck inside the turkey, the chicken inside the duck, and stuffing inside the chicken,” he said. “Form it back into a turkey, sew that sucker back up, and it’s good to go. That’s your turducken.”
Savenor’s sells a traditional 15-pound version with turkey drumsticks and wings attached for $150, and a 4-pound all-breast version for $50. Roche Bros., which Giosi said makes some at the store and orders some pre-made, offer 4- to 8-pound versions at $7 per pound. Hannaford Supermarket in North Quincy ordered only four 15-pound turduckens this year and sold them at $50 each within two days, according to a deli worker.
But turduckens aren't the only twist on iconic Thanksgiving birds: Both the gooducken, a popular British dish that swaps the turkey for a goose, and turporken, self-explanatory, have their champions.
A 19th century recipe tops them all. According to the 2004 book, Schott’s Food and Drink Miscellany, the Russian-Doll Roast includes 17 birds stuffed into each other, including a lark, a quail, a partridge, a pheasant, and a giant bustard to finish it off.
“I would do it,” said Savenor, who’s made gooduckens in the past. “I’ll try anything.”
And there’s a different world of turducken eating, too. In 2003, a 100-pound Korean woman set the world record by eating nearly 8 pounds of a turducken dinner in 12 minutes.
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