#Turducken November 23

Coach4aday is a daily blog featuring shared ideas to help people grow and learn. You can follow the blog with one of the like buttons found on top left of Coach4aday website.

In 2020 some Coach4aday posts will feature lessons learned by completing, planning, and experiencing 30 day challenges. The challenges include physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional.


Friends that know me realize on Thanksgiving for the past 20 plus years I have fried lots of turkeys for friends and family.

I was taught the art of turkey frying by a friend from Rock Hill SC back in the 1990’s. John and Mandy Holmes were great friends that shared their frying secrets. Over the years I have played it forward by assisting others in learning what John taught me.

Eric Dent learning the turkey frying ropes in 2011
Some of the crowd in 2015 that came to learn about turkey frying

This year I will only be frying a turkey for our family. The pandemic has made us decide to rent a house at North Topsail Beach NC and celebrate on the beach. I am still going to offer up some guidance to a few friends who will be doing it themselves so it keeps me connected to that tradition.

In addition to John Holmes another friend named Mike DeCinti demonstrated to me the GRANDIOUS (30 Day Vocabulary Challenge) fashion to go about cooking at Thanksgiving. I have to say that he was much more ambitious on different approaches on how to cook turkey. His creativity in 2008 may have led to the demise of the Winn-Dixie grocery store in Lumberton NC some ten years ago.

Mike and Alison DeCinti

Mike was never satisfied to cook a fantastic turkey in the oven or deep fry one better than me. He was always looking to take Tom Turkey to another level. He mastered deep frying and then conquered trash can turkey. Yet cooking a trash can turkey was still not enough of a challenge for him he wanted to take on the complexity of a TURDUCKEN.

You might be curious on how Mike’s decision to tackle a TURDUCKEN could cause a grocery store to pick up and leave.

First let’s define what a TURDUCKEN is. It is a dish consisting of a deboned chicken stuffed into a deboned duck, further stuffed into a deboned turkey. Outside of the United States and Canada, it is known as a three bird roast. 

The key to making a TURDUCKEN is to find a skilled butcher who will debone the duck, chicken, and turkey. Mike used his persuasive charm at the Winn-Dixie and the butcher agreed to take on the challenge. The day before Thanksgiving in 2008 Mike sent his mom to pick up his poultry trifecta. She took it to the cashier and the charge came to $7.22. Mike’s mom asked if the price was correct and everyone said yes. Clearly that was a big pricing mistake. Two months after Mike’s poultry deal, Winn-Dixie announced that they were closing this store because it was unprofitable. I believe Mike’s TURDUCKEN was the last straw. By the way the TURDUCKEN was fabulous.

Mike’s epiphany on attempting a new culinary skill came from the legendary NFL Coach, TV Announcer, and namesake to a fantastic video game John Madden. John Madden had a TURDUCKEN on many Thanksgiving Football Game broadcasts in the 1990’s.

Here is a YouTube video of John with Al Michaels on a Monday Night Football Game. This game was leading up to Thanksgiving and John went all in discussing carving techniques for a TURDUCKEN

Winn-Dixie has left Lumberton, NC but thanks to Mike’s TURDUCKEN I will never forget the place.

Happy Thanksgiving Mike!

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