(Editor’s note: On behalf of all of us at Arrowhead Pride, Happy Thanksgiving.)
The Kansas City Chiefs may not be playing on Thanksgiving Day, but thank God there are still plenty of football games to watch.
You can’t have Thanksgiving football without thinking about NFL icon and former Oakland Raiders head coach John Madden. And you can’t talk about John Madden without talking about one of the culinary gems of our great country, the turducken.
I could try and explain what this Frankenstein dish consists of, but it’s probably better to let the greatest sports announcer of all time and turducken advocate, John Madden, do it himself.
“Here’s how you have to slice it”, said Madden, using the Telestrator to give a tutorial on how to carve the Russian Doll poultry dish. “You have to slice it down the middle, and then you slice it across this way because you see what it is — it’s a deboned chicken, stuffed inside of a deboned duck, stuffed inside of a deboned turkey — with dressing between the chicken and the duck and the turkey.”
Throughout this whole affair, fellow announcer Al Michaels looked like he’d seen an alien — amazed, Michaels asked Madden if he was having a turducken for Thanksgiving dinner.
Madden quickly quipped, “Yeah, I’m going to have one, but I have to bring it.”
And that’s how the turducken was cemented into the American lexicon for all time.
At its core, the turducken seems like a silly thing, but, as the years pass, it’s these sorts of ridiculous creations that etch themselves into our hearts and transform themselves into fond memories of time spent with family and friends — whether it be gathered around the table and sharing a meal or gathered around the TV watching Madden tear a turducken in half with his bare hands.
John Madden and the turducken are a part of how we celebrate and remember our gratitude for everything we’ve been blessed with.
‘Turducken’ and the Chiefs
On Wednesday afternoon, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid and starting quarterback Patrick Mahomes were both asked what Madden’s legacy means to them.
Predictably, Reid went straight for the turducken.
“Turducken. I mean you think about Turducken. I still have my Turducken in the freezer in tribute to him. I’m debating stuffing it,” said Reid before turning to a more serious tone. “He was my guy. I appreciate everything he did for me.
“[He was] just a good human being and for the game. Think about what he did for football, for our jobs here, the thing you guys do for TV, [it was] phenomenal at changing it and then as a coach, Hall of Fame coach.”
Mahomes — being from a slightly younger demographic — said that he will always remember Madden from his iconic video game series
.“He meant a ton, man. I got Madden the video game, like right when Madden the video game became it,” said the quarterback, referring to the game’s huge popularity, “which it still is, and so I played it all growing up — hearing his voice. I mean it’s ingrained in me now, and I watched the documentary this past year.”
Even if Mahomes is from a different generation than a guy like Reid, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t have respect for the legends who came before him — and their taste in food.
“I’m doing the turducken this year,” revealed Mahomes, “I’m going to try it out. I’m not cooking it—I can’t cook, but my chef is already preparing it and getting it ready to go, and I’ll let you all know next week how it is.”
Build your own ‘Turducken’
If you’re interested in honoring Madden during this year’s Thanksgiving festivities, by attempting to make a turducken of your own, here is a short video from the self-proclaimed inventors of the dish on how they make it.
Note: This is the recipe that Madden first tried and got hooked on.