Stuffing a duck or a turkey is always worth the time!
Stuffing is my favorite side dish at Thanksgiving. It's commonly thought of as challenging but as long as you have some bread and veggies it comes together quickly.
- Cooking time / temp - how to cook all the way through every time
- Ingredients at hand - easy to vary up the recipe
Step 1: Ingredients
Main ingredients for stuffing are simple.
- Bread - two sourdough rolls (frozen day olds from a local bakery) + some homemade bread left from a recent instructable on scallion pancakes
- Veggies - carrots and celery are the standards. I'm using half of a small spaghetti squash from the garden
- Onion - I only had a small red onion in the house... didn't want to walk to the garden to pick a few more
- Meat - optional. here I've sliced ham but most common is ground pork
- Egg - one from our backyard chickens
- Spices - see below
Step 2: Mixing Ingredients
Mix the chopped ingredients.
Once all are incorporated I add an egg straight to the mixture.
Step 3: Stuff Bird
Fill the cavity with your mixture. I had too much bread so that went to the chickens.
Step 4: Temperature: Starting
The bird had thawed in the refrigerator and was just a bit over freezing.
- Prong 1 (stuffing) - 51 deg - temp starts off higher than the meat
- Prong 2 (meat) - 39 deg - starting temp is is lower than stuffing
Step 5: Temperature: 1Hr Mark
The dense stuffing takes longer to warm up
- Prong 1 (stuffing) - 89 deg
- Prong 2 (meat) - 104 deg
Step 6: Temperature: Finished Cooking
The meat ultimately hits the perfect 165. I could have cooked longer as I didn't have the prong in the densest section of the drum/thigh. Instead I pulled and finished the cut off drum/thigh under broil to crisp the skin
- Prong 1 (stuffing) - 172 deg
- Prong 2 (meat) - 165 deg - recommended to 175 to ensure all meat hits 165
Hope this helps make it easier to feel confident stuffing a duck or turkey. For many thanksgiving our family had skipped stuffing the turkey and instead baked the ingredients... never a good!
The fear is that bacteria won't be cooked through but that goes away when a prong measures the internal temp. A digital thermometer helped us to feel confident stuffing.