A thanksgiving debate—should turkey stuffing be cooked inside the bird or outside?
Because of health concerns, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) advises that stuffing be cooked outside the bird. This is because stuffing that has not reached 165 F can still contain bacteria, which could cause a foodborne illness.
Whether you prefer to make your turkey stuffing outside or inside, here are a few tips to make your stuffing stand out at thanksgiving:
At the heart of every stuffing is bread. To prepare it for stuffing, we recommend cutting it uniformly in cubes—aesthetic! Fresh bread can be soggy and very unpleasant when putting the stuffing together.
Therefore, we recommend throwing it in a preheated oven at 350F to remove the moisture. Dry toast the cubes or slices for 15 to 20 minutes or until they turn golden. If your stuffing is too dry, consider gradually incorporating stock; for instance, use 1 cup of broth for every 4 cups of dry mix.
Finally, let it sit for a few minutes—we want moist and not wet stuffing!
Though stuffing is a side dish, season it as if it were the main dish, it’ll take a lot of skill to perfectly combine your dry and fresh herbs: Sage, thyme, parsley, and rosemary pair nicely with turkey.
Fresh parsley has a crisp, nearly peppery flavor. Sage has a mild pepper flavor and hints of mint and lemon. Rosemary has a strong flavor and aroma, so a little goes a long way when using it. Thyme is an excellent herb for balancing savory and sweet, floral and woodsy, and minty and earthy flavors.
To take your flavors to the next level, dried fruits, apricots and figs are something you should consider. Their sweetness complements, when added correctly, complements the other flavors on the plate perfectly.
Bacon and Sausages
The flavor profile of bacon encompasses sweet caramelized notes as well as salty, umami, and sweet notes, which gives your stuffing a very complex flavor profile. Both the sausage and bacon should be fried to crisp for added texture in your stuffing. When the sausage is no longer pink, cook it for 6 to 8 minutes over medium heat while crumbling it.
The best chicken stock is made from one that has been roasted. With a larger bird, there is plenty of leftover bones and meat scraps for stock-making.
For the best flavors, slow-cook the roasted chicken with the following vegetables: bay leaves, fresh Italian parsley, carrots, celery, onions, parsnips, or leeks. To intensify your flavors even more.
Add three chicken bouillon cubes and 6–8 peppercorns to give the dish more flavor. Most importantly, consider adding kosher salt to bring out the flavors.
Combining Your Ingredients
Toss the bread with the onion mixture in a sizable bowl. Pour the broth and eggs over the bread mixture after whisking them together in a medium bowl—season with salt and pepper to taste. Once everything is coated, toss. Place the prepared baking dish with the mixture inside, then cover it with foil.
Cook the stuffing for 45 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until the bread is toasty and golden brown.