Well, I did it and it turned out great. It wasn't easy and there was a minor disaster, but the end results were better than I could have expected. The results were a moist and tasty meat that has great flavor.
The hardest part I thought was going to be putting it together, but that was pretty easy. I deboned the duck and chicken myself without an issue. I had picked up the deboned turkey from Paulina Meat Market on Wednesday. The butcher gave me the bones, and I made a stock which turned out great for the gravy.
The turkey was a little more than 25 pounds before being deboned. After assembling the beast with some stuffing the result was a huge. I used more of a traditional stuffing, some celery, onion, sage, salt and pepper. I have a pretty big roasting pan, but there was no way this was going to fit in there. Luckily I had a disposable pan from something or other and it barely fit in there. In order to way the frankenbird I had to pull Rory's scale out of the bathroom, it weighed in at 24.8 pounds.
I placed some bacon on top of it and covered it with foil and put it in around 1 pm pn Friday, hoping it would be done by 7 pm. The one issue I know would pop up. There wasn't a whole lot of space in the pan and I knew we would get quite a bit of liquid so I would have to keep an eye on that. And this is where there was a minor disaster.
A little after 7 pm I was checking the temp of the bird and getting some liquid out when some spilled on the bottom of the stove. This caused smoke, a lot of smoke, more smoke than I have ever seen outside a fire. It may have been fine if some of the guests hadn't already arrived, but we made it though with only two calls from the landlord asking if I was burning down the building. Not to be too overdramatic, but this was just about the biggest kitchen disaster I have ever had and I was freaking out and smelling smoke the rest of the night even though the guests saiid it wasn't that bad.
But the smoke passed and the birds finished cooking. All told it took more than eight hours to cook to an internal temp of 170 degrees. I let it rest for about 25 minutes before carving. The way I carved it I got the coolest picture. You can clearly see al three layers of meat in the picture below and I think it's cool as hell.If I do this again there are a few things I would do differently, more importantly I would get a smaller turkey, 20 pounds max. I would also put a little more stuffing in the bird. I would put it in about an hour earlier and make sure I had a big enough roasting pan no matter what.