It’s Christmas time, time to take the stuffing up a notch or seven. From nutella and doughnuts to fried chicken and waffles, Melbourne has combined things that would maybe definitely be considered unacceptable in most other states. But Christmas calls for bigger and better things – things like Turduckens and Piecakens - so here are the best edible things stuffed inside other edible things. And, more importantly, where to get them in Melbourne!
The one that started it all – the Turducken
The turkey-duck-chicken hybrid roast was, OFC, an American idea. A boneless chicken wrapped into a boneless duck stuffed into a boneless turkey and crammed with herby stuffing in between, people inhabiting the land of the free aren’t about to let their Thanksgiving pride and joy rest among the ranks of meagre one-protein roasts. So if you want to up your BBQ game this Christmas (our Aussie pride is at stake, Listers), here are the top spots to get your pre-made Turducken... Because no one wants to spend Christmas Eve shoving a chicken into a duck’s behind.
The Corner Chicken Shop at Queen Victoria Market
One of Melbourne’s oldest butchers, Queen Victoria Market’s Corner Chicken Shop, sells certified organic poultry and envirorganic chickens. There’s plenty of produce here - from duck to turkey and chickens to kangaroo and most importantly, the omniscient, all-knowing Turducken. Filled with your choice of homemade stuffing and absolutely no bones, choose between sage and onion; spinach and pinenuts; apricot and macadamia, or cranberry and chestnut stuffing for this three-to-five kilo triple threat.
Arthur’s Poultry at Prahran Market
One of Melbourne’s biggest fresh food markets houses the not-so-humble Turducken. Arthur’s Poultry in Prahran Market is packed with cranberry and chestnut stuffing in a partially deboned free-range turkey. Turduckens come in both regular (5kg) or large (7kg) sizes, because if you’re set on a Turducken this Christmas, there’s not really any small way to do it.
Keen to make it yourself?
We wish you the very best of luck. Excuse us while we abandon you with nothing more than this video by award winning butcher Armande Ferrante to step you through this beast of a roast.
Level 2 Turducken – the Turbaconducken
Congratulations! You’ve levelled up in gluttonous behaviour! Introducing the Turbaconducken, a Turdunken wrapped in crispy, greasy bacon. As three birds were definitely insufficient, someone in the land of the brave figured the country could do one better. The darling of American meats, good old pork, is wrapped around each layer of poultry to produce a plumpy chicken/duck/turkey….thing. We couldn’t find anywhere in Vic selling a Turbaconducken, but here are some of the places to get your bacon on this Christmas. And if you decide to wrap your purchases around one of your Turduckens, we’ll politely look the other way.
Greendale Farm, Willaura and various farmers markets
With a signature outline of creamy fatty goodness perfect for BBQs and roasts, bacon doesn’t come much better than at Greendale Farm. Pigs are free range and heritage breed, so you can buy your kilos of pork at least (mostly) guilt-free.
Pacdon Park, Echuca with various stockists around inner Melbourne suburbs
Specialising in British smallgoods using the best Australian ingredients, Pacdon Park is dangerously easy to find around Melbourne. For a little British charm to go with your muscular Turducken, try Pacdon Park’s traditional British dry cured, unsmoked streaky bacon.
The Melbourne Pantry in East Brunswick
British-style cold-smoked bacon? We think so. At The Melbourne Pantry, meats are cooked the way Her Majesty would appreciate. We’re sure the fam will appreciate the difference this Christmas too.
Because there’s way too much meat in this article – the Veggieducken
Aka the squashleekotato roast. Not quite as catchy as a Turducken, but we’ll take it - mainly because we’re told veggies in your daily diet helps prevent early death. A crumbly, herby, spice-packed mixture of vegetables stuffed inside a banana or butternut squash, there are several variations of the awfully healthy Veggieducken. Here’s an eight second summary of how to make it, if you’re not understanding this whole no-meat gig.
Suzy Spoon’s Vegetarian Butcher sells a very festive looking veggieducken, but since we doubt you’ll be trekking across state borders for this particular product, you can find the best fresh produce at these Melbourne hotspots:
Collingwood Children Farmers Market in Abbotsford
Running on every second Saturday of the month (think 12 December people!), you’re guaranteed to find a nicely oversized squash and all your favourite veggies to cram into your veggieducken at the Collingwood Children Farmers Market. Since Christmas is all about family, why not bring the kids and make it a day?
Passion Foods/South Melbourne Market in South Melbourne
Around the corner from South Melbourne Market, Passion Foods boasts organic local produce and biodynamic fine foods. Break up the meat fest this Christmas with the finest veggieducken with the finest ingredients in Melbourne.
Level 3 Turducken - Fowl De Cochon
Fowl De Cochon – a boneless pig stuffed with a Turducken. I’m done. Here are some places in Melbourne to buy whole boneless pigs...
Hudson Meats in Toorak
The kind gentle-butcher-men at Hudson Meats sell whole suckling pigs, and are happy to debone the beast with advanced notice. Specialising in sourcing the best regional produce, rest assured that this piggy is one of the best.
Jonai Farms in Eganstown
Proudly stocking only ethically treated pork and beef, family-run Joani Farms offers whole butchered and unbutchered pigs at their farm’s gate. Delivery is also available to Castlemain, Malmsbury, Woodend, Bendigo and Ballarat.
Don’t know how to bake it?
These guys make a mighty Fowl De Cochon with bacon, totalling 72 186 calories. Maybe you can get some tips from them?
Now this is getting silly – the Roti Sans Pariel
This one is pure gluttonous, meat-obsessed, culinary absurdity. Roti Sans Pariel is made up of 17 different birds stuffed inside of each other, with the recipe originating from Alexandre Balthazar Laurent Grimond de la Reyniere’s 1807 cookbook. Even if you wanted to attempt this one for a very merry Christmas (you couldn’t pay me), many of the birds used in the original recipe are endangered and it’s very illegal to cook them.
It’s probably better this way – if the block ‘o bird Roti Sans Pariel was half decent, Melbourne’s appetite alone could force chickens into extinction.
And for dessert, introducing the latest trend – the Piecaken
The latest addition to the holiday fat food hit list is America’s Piecaken. In an apparent (failed) attempt to quell the nation’s obsession with sugar and cream, someone has gone and baked some pies into one Frankenstein-like layered pie-cake. Can’t be bothered making pie? Can’t blame you – here are some of Melbourne’s best.
Albert Street Food and Wine in Brunswick
Albert Street Food & Wine's infamous lemon tart is a perfect classic addition to your freakshow Piecaken. Creamy and soft with a king-hit of citrus, make sure you freeze it before attempting to Piecaken-ate this tart.
Smith and Daughters in Fitzroy
If you’re more of a chocolate kind of family, go for Smith & Daughters' Latin-inspired Tarta de Chocolate Azteca with a crumbly, biscuit base and fudgey chocolate filling.
Piecaken’s big sister – the Cherpumple
Arguably the Piecaken before the Piecaken was an actual thing (I still don’t understand what the ‘n’ stands for), the Cherpumple is a similar monster with three definitive tart flavours - cherry pie, pumpkin pie and apple pie. Here’s where you can find some of tarts. The cake and icing is up to you with the help of this very helpful how-to video.
South of Johnston in Collingwood
Selling whole delectably juicy cherry pies, make sure you give South of Johnston at least 24 hours notice for the crucial third of your Cherpumple. Don’t eat it all before it gets home.
Bakewell & Co online
Melbourne baker Camilla Clark specialises in American sweets and pies, so we reckon her pumpkin pies are a pretty solid choice for your Cherpemple. Call or email to order.
The one you might actually make this Christmas – the Pinata cake
You might be tempted to smash this thing wide open, given its namesake. But a sharp knife and confident hand can cut open a Pinata cake to reveal the hoard of chocolate and candy hidden inside. The best part is that it’s really just a super moist buttercake with your favourite candy inside.
Winner winner Christmas dinner!
Image credit: distractify.com