posted by Liz Thomas 11-05-100 2:08 AM


Start with the biggest bird first -- in this case the turkey. Bone the turkey. Tuck in the drumstick and wing ends.

Lay it flat, skin down, on a large board, then sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Then spread over a layer of stuffing -- not to close to the edges, but make sure that there is enough around the joints where the leg/wing bones used to be. This can be anything you particularly love. For me it's usually a chestnut and cranberry stuffing.

Bone the duck -- actually, a duck is a little more tricky to bone as the structure is different -- but keep to the rule of "knife against the bone", take your time, and you will be OK and lay it flat on top of the flat turkey.
Again, salt and pepper spread on a layer of stuffing. I would opt for something with a little green olive, perhaps green peppercorns and maybe a touch of orange, not too much as you don't want it to "fight" with the other flavours but a little contrast is nice. My stuffings tend to make themselves up as they go along.

Ditto with the chicken and here I would go for a fresh herb and ham stuffing.

Note: In each case cut off the wing tips and tuck the drumsticks and wings in.
Now the tricky bit.

Wrap the chicken round itself to enclose the stuffing, then wrap the duck around too to enclose the chicken (three hands would be helpful for this LOL!!) -- this is difficult to explain in words but when you have the actual thing in front of you it becomes quite obvious.

Squish them carefully together with your hands and then carefully pull the turkey around the whole lot (BTW when boning be very careful not to break the skin). Hold it in place with thin skewers or long toothpicks, and make sure that the turkey completely surrounds everything.

With a large sharp needle (I use upholstery needles) and cooking string, carefully stitch up the turkey skin, taking in a bit of flesh, so that you have a large, fat, vaguely bird shaped roll.

Put it into a roasting tin and continue as you would for any roast bird -- but of course you have no bones so you are dealing with a solid meat roast. Use a meat thermometer to be sure that you have cooked it through.
Roast slowly, covered with foil to prevent excess browning, removing the foil at the end to get a good crisp skin.

NOTE: I have done this leaving in the turkey drumstick bones and the wing bones which makes it look more like an intact turkey and more of a surprise in that it is boneless -- the only problem with this is that you have to be very diligent on the cooking as the bones conduct heat and you have to watch that the legs and wings do not overcook. Overall, I prefer to remove the bones and tuck them in as it makes for more even roasting.

Sprinkle the bones with olive oil and herbs (or whatever you fancy) and roast them, plus any necks or giblets (but not livers) till nice and brown. Then put in a pan, cover with cold water, and simmer very, very, very gently till well reduced, strain and set the stock aside for your gravy.

Before serving, pull out the stiching string and then serve as you would normally do on a large platter. Surround with roast spuds if you wish. Then sit back and watch the look of surprise on your guests faces as you carve it by just slicing right through the middle!

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