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Out to eat / Great dish, drinks and people

A ready to cook turducken

If you can't decide whether a chicken, duck or turkey should grace the center of your festive dinner table, there's good news: You don't have to choose.

The turducken is a chicken stuffed inside a duck inside a turkey, and they're made fresh at Camillo's Sloan Supermarket (494 Reiman St., 896-8982). The triple-bird roast first gained fame in Louisiana before becoming a Southern specialty. Two years ago, co-owner Gaeton Camillo said, the market started offering them.

This year, more than 50 turduckens were sold for Thanksgiving. "The word got out and it's taken off," Camillo said. "We've got another 20 for Christmas. People are calling for New Year's."

The market is still taking orders, but because of the complicated process, requires three days' notice. To make one, a butcher debones a 10- to 12-pound turkey with a sharp knife, leaving bones in the legs and wings. The butchers can debone a turkey in five to 10 minutes, Camillo said. A chicken and a duck are deboned, too. Onions, celery and breadcrumbs and butter go into the stuffing.

"Then we sew it back up, so it looks exactly like a whole turkey," Camillo said. But they're boneless, except for the turkey parts, with layers of poultry and stuffing. They're 15 pounds and up, at $3.99 a pound. The 15-pounder will take eight hours in a 300 degree oven to roast.

Then, Camillo said, "you can slice it like a loaf of bread if you want to."

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'Taste' applications are ready

Once they get done shoveling snow off the sidewalk, restaurant owners and other professional cooks will soon be pondering July.

The 2011 Taste of Buffalo will be July 9 and 10, and applications are due by Jan. 31. Last year more than 50 operators took on the challenge of serving food from a tent.

Applicants must be "public establishments whose primary commercial function is to serve food/wine on a retail basis and be open year round in Western New York." Find the application and more information at www.tasteofbuffalo.com.

-- Andrew Z. Galarneau

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