Thursday, May 25, 2006

Epic Camel Jam

For two Thanksgivings in a row, JamZone editors and their affiliates have overseen the preparation and consumption of a mutant roast bird known as the Turducken. Popular in the pre-Emeril world of butter-soaked Cajun excess championed by legendary chef Paul Prudhomme and with gluttonous football fans (John Madden has long been an advocate for the cause), the Turducken consists of a boned chicken stuffed inside a boned duck stuffed inside a semi-boned turkey, all sewn up, and baked in a low oven for many hours until each layer of bird is tender and drippings have well-greased the ribbons of cheap stuffing between them. As the steaming mass descends on an already overloaded banquet table in highly medieval fashion, a posse of hearty Jammers will gather 'round to slice through and spill forth intertwined meaty chunks in varied hues like the surreal delicious guts of a strange mythological creature. The Jam is Classic to say the least.

Nonetheless, Brandy thinks it is high time to call bullshit on the Turducken. It pales in comparison with what JamZone has determined to be largest Jam in the world. Imagine an entire camel cleaned, skinned, boiled, and stuffed with an entire cleaned, skinned, and boiled sheep. Now, imagine that sheep stuffed with a number of trimmed and boiled whole chickens that are, in turn, stuffed with an unholy quantity of black pepper, cooked rice, hard-boiled eggs, tasty nuts, and other savory perfuming agents. Prepared by expert cooks almost exclusively for the wedding feasts of wealthy Bedouin families, this dish, in some sense, utterly redefines the Jam. Just imagining what it might be like to feast on this mighty concoction is enough to make this JamZone contributor completely and utterly full.

If you think this post smacks of camel fodder, you’re not alone. Many have a tendency to doubt the truth of tales regarding the roasting of extremely large mammals. In his 1998 book The Fearless Diner, Richard Sterling reveals that he feared the same. That is, until, in Bangkok, deep in his travels, he finally met a brilliant hotel chef who’d actually done it:

I knew in my gut, in my gastronomic soul, that what I had long hoped was true. That it wasn't just some wild traveler's tale designed to stir the imagination and not the pot. The ultimate cookout was a reality. The only thing that could possibly be greater would be to spit-roast a giant squid. My wildest culinary dream could come true. Sven, Allah bless him and may his tribe increase, had done it.

"I tell you no lie," he went on, sipping a cold one. "They wanted camel. I roasted a whole camel on a spit."

"Yes!" I cried. "Tell me everything." And he did. He told me how he stuffed the camel with six sheep, stuffed the sheep with chickens, and the chickens with fish. He told me how it took 24 hours to cook, and that he served it on a silver platter in the shape of a recumbent camel. He related how the tribesmen who were the sheik's guests then attacked it with their knives en masse, feasted with their bare hands, and ate the meat down to the ivory.”

What’s more, for serious haters, from a 1983 California Home Economics Teachers cookbook called International Cuisine, a Saudi housewife’s no-nonsense recipe for Stuffed Camel stands as further proof. Jam on:

Stuffed Camel

1 whole camel, medium size
1 whole lamb, large size
20 whole chickens, medium size
60 eggs
12 kilos rice
2 kilos pine nuts
2 kilos almonds
1 kilo pistachio nuts
110 gallons water
5 pounds black pepper
Salt to taste

Skin, trim and clean camel, lamb and chicken. Boil until tender. Cook rice until fluffy. Fry nuts until brown and mix with rice. Hard boil eggs and peel. Stuff cooked chickens with hard boiled eggs and rice. Stuff the cooked lamb with stuffed chickens. Add more rice. Stuff the camel with the stuffed lamb and add rest of rice. Broil over large charcoal pit until brown. Spread any remaining rice on large tray and place camel on top of rice. Decorate with boiled eggs and nuts. Serves friendly crowd of 80-100.


At 12:21 PM, Anonymous ben jam in said...

i have enjoyed turducken tweece, most recently this past thanksgiving.

how much do you think a camsheeken would cost? my guess is that the bill would be gastronomical.

what a delicious pun.

At 1:30 PM, Anonymous King said...

what does camel even taste like?

Isn't the hump all fat?

And re: the second recipe, how am I supposed to boil a camel?

One more thing:

Cannibal version: Infant in Child in Woman in Man

At 1:36 PM, Anonymous ben jam in said...

the key to boiling a camel is to never watch the pot. if you stare at it, you'll get nowhere.

At 2:12 PM, Anonymous Grape said...

I have an idea for the Stuffed Camel Jam. After prepping the camel with lamb, chickens, eggs, and rice, stuff the entire jam into an enormous crab rangoon.

Bam, Stuffed Camel Crab Rangoon. Now that woud be a feast of a jam.

At 12:33 PM, Anonymous dc jam said...

Dear JamZone,

Wanted to make sure that you didn't miss out on this "Christ is risen" themed jam:

Might be improved with quick dunk in the fry daddy.


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