We are rounding the corner into holiday season, and of course New Orleans has its own way of doing the most traditional of American meals- Thanksgiving dinner. No roast turkey for the true New Orleanian, nope they will be chowing down on Turducken. That’s right a a Turducken “What the heck is a Turducken?” As any good cook will tell you a turducken is a chicken stuffed inside a duck that is then stuffed inside a turkey, all of which have been de-boned. Between each bird is a layer of stuffing, which ranges from the mild and traditional cornbread stuffing to other Cajun fare such as andouille sausage stuffing, oyster stuffing and even shrimp étouffée. The entire trio is then either deep fried, Acadian-style, or slow-cooked by braising, roasting, grilling or barbecuing. According to local lore, the Turducken was born on that fateful day when there wasn’t enough room in the oven for all three birds side by side! No one’s quite sure who got it started. There are records of “nested bird roasts” from Europe in the 19th century, while the noted chef Paul Prudhomme is said to have created the first in America sometime around 1983. We have memories of when we first hosted the extended family for Thanksgiving (and a four day stay at our home- we should have known then that inn keeping was in our blood) we awoke to the radio and Emeril Lagasse’s voice explaining how to debone the birds to allow them to be stuffed inside one another- suddenly our carefully prepared meal featuring a smoked turkey out on the grill sounded so mundane. But there were yams to peel and cranberries to crush,so if memory serves we crept downstairs past our sleeping guests, poured ourselves a good luck shot of bourbon and got to work! Hoping your Thanksgiving time is filled with those you love and a taste of turducken.