Crockpot holiday feasts

I took over the Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas meals at least a decade ago. Over the past ten years, I’ve refined my menu, recipes and prep to allow me to put together a mouth-watering feast with less than an hour’s worth of work the day of the event. Seriously. I get up, toss the turkey in the oven, plug in a bunch of crockpots, and pour myself a glass of wine and put my feet up until the guests arrive.

That’s right – crockpots. Whether you call them crockpots or slow cookers, these magical kitchen appliances are my absolute favourite way to manage a feast. At any given holiday dinner, I’ll have mashed potatoes in one crock, stuffing in another, sweet potatoes in a third, purple cabbage in the fourth (this recipe, but in the slow cooker rather than a pot, and for longer), and corn in a mini crockpot. I prep everything the day before, including cooking the potatoes. I usually exile my family from the house so I can Netflix binge while I slice and dice. Everything is stored in the fridge for the night, and assembled into the crockpots in the morning.

This year, I went next level and even made our main meat dish in the crockpot! I had tried turkey in the slow cooker before, and wasn’t impressed with the results. When Canadian company Echelon Foods offered to send me a Turducken to try, and they told me it could be cooked in a crockpot, I was sold.

We ordered the Bacon Wrapped Turducken Premium Roast™, a smaller version of the full bird, which normally serves 12-15 adults.

Basically, a Turducken de-boned duck and chicken breasts are wrapped up with Italian or chicken apple sausage stuffing into a whole deboned turkey – and then everything is wrapped in yummy bacon. The bacon Turducken requires the turkey’s wings and drumsticks to be removed, leaving you with a football-sized roast that’s super easy to slice.

Following the directions, I set our slow cooker to high, popped in the roast and closed the lid. After two hours I changed the setting to low, and cooked for about four hours. Then I took it out and finished it by roasting it at 400 F until the internal temperature just went over 165°F.

Turducken roasted
After letting it rest while making the gravy with the drippings as a base, we were ready to slice and eat.

Turducken sliced
We were completely sold. No one missed the traditional turkey at all – the Turducken was incredibly moist and flavourful. We had plenty of leftovers (we had just five adults this time), and the Turducken has been just as good heated up the next day.

Usually we buy our turkey for about $30, and this Turducken was $70. Was it worth more than double the price of having a turkey? Absolutely, without a doubt. We’ll most definitely be splurging on a Turducken for future holiday meals.

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