I finally got up the nerve to give this big bird a try. I'll forego the explaination of the deboning process, and will save that for another article. The only suggestions I have to offer on that is to make sure you have a sharp knife. A deboning knife would probably be best, but I used my trusty 8" chef. I sharpened it right before needed.
I'm sure I'll take grief on this, but since a nasty storm came through last night (Tornados in December....who'da thunkit), I am cooking this in the oven instead of the smoker. It's a shame to have to go without the smoke, but this process was so intensive, I didn't want to take any chances.
I went with a combination of stuffing: JD Hot Sausage, cornbread stuffing, and sauteed peppers, and apples.
Layer 1, Turkey only
All three birds.
The initial handful. Skewered each bird, ending with the Turkey.
Pinned and stitched, ready to be cooked.
In the oven at 300 degrees. I'm leaving out how long it cooked as to avoid the potential for a lawsuit by someone who tries this themselves and gets sick. Lets just say 2 meals went by through the process and it was in the danger zone for entirely too long.
Here's my ugly mug cutting the finished bird cross-wise, which is the neatest part about cooking one of these. Make's great sammies.
Cutting slices for serving
The results were as I expected. Those who like the taste of duck really liked it. Those who hated duck liked everything but the duck. Myself, not a person who likes duck to begin with, found that the duck had a better flavor, but still tasted too much like duck. I did manage to collect about 1.5 quarts of drippings which I very much look forward to using in the future.
Will I do it again? Probably not. For one, the duck situation just doesn't work for me and my family. For another, the food safe temperatures just don't seem to be worth it. While feel like the USDA very much exaggerates everything, the combination of the stuffing and the extended low temperatures make this a pretty risky venture.