Christmas is coming and I had this really lame but festive idea. I take it you’re familiar with the turducken: a turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken. And there’s a bunch of stuffing in there as well.
I had a commercial one a few years back, and I was very glad to be spared the boning and reassembling, and it wasn’t bad, but the real problem was the stuffing. I guess I’m a bit fussy when it comes to stuffing (I reckon my own is pretty good) and this commercial stuffing (3 different kinds as I remember) was actually pretty poor. I can’t remember the company that sold it and I don’t want to accuse anybody unfairly. And it definitely didn’t look nearly as good as this:
Then, the year before last, the Loved One, who in a former life may have been a veterinary surgeon working on the brains of small birds, decided we’d do our own version: that woman just loves deboning. So we did.
In fact we’re neither of us madly keen on turkey, so we decided we’d go duck, chicken, Cornish game hen; which I suppose would be a duckenhen; no worse a name than a turducken.
The boning looked like hard work but fortunately my role chiefly involved making the stuffings, which I do believe was better than the commercial varieties.
It looked pretty good when it was assembled and cooked and before it was carved, but it was a nightmare to slice. Unless you had a miniature and very precise chain saw I don’t see how you could cut it into attractive slices. And it certainly tasted good, but even so, in the end, we weren’t sure it was quite worth the effort.
So this year I had my idea. Instead of a turducken, how about a potato stuffed with a potato stuffed with a potato? Potatoes come in all sizes, they come in various colors, why not a white potato stuffed with a purple potato, stuffed with a red potato. Why not indeed?
A pot-pot-pot-atoe? A Pot-ato-ato-ato? It’s not the catchiest of names, I know.
Some hand carving was involved (not actual deboning, though I know the Irish like their potatoes "with the bones in 'em") and I did wish my outermost potato had been bigger, but eventually it all fitted more or less neatly together, and then it was wrapped in foil and baked.
When it was cooked it looked like this, and again I admit again you could imagine more aesthetic arrangements.
And how did it taste? Well when salt and pepper, and butter and sour cream were slathered on it, it was just fine, but frankly a lump of carpet tile seems not so bad when salt and pepper, and butter and sour cream have been slathered on it.
The flesh of the potato was a bit wet: and that may have been inherent in the potatoes or inherent in my cooking method: I’m prepared to take my share of the blame. All in all it was one of the more minor triumphs, and yet I can’t help thinking I’m on to something conceptual here, and maybe I’ll come up with a new and improved version before Christmas. Maybe a potato stuffed with stuffing will be enough, though frankly I doubt it.