[Sca-cooks] The 50th annual SCA-Cooks Thanksgiving list!

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Tue Nov 21 07:52:35 PST 2006

On Nov 21, 2006, at 9:58 AM, Sandra Kisner wrote:

>> (Of course, I also <GASP!>
>> stuff the bird, but I do the stuffing ahead and make sure it's  
>> cool before
>> stuffing the bird for safety's sake and guess I just grew up wrong  
>> 'cause I
>> prefer it that way.)
>> Celia
> I thought you were supposed to prepare the stuffing at the last  
> minute so
> it was still hot when you put it in the turkey (and then straight  
> into the
> oven) so it would spend less time in the danger zone.  If it's  
> already hot
> it will only heat further when you roast the stuffed bird.  Have I  
> heard
> incorrectly?

The standard wisdom for cooking and/or holding such things is to  
consider the stuffed bird an aggregate, solid mass. A cold or semi- 
frozen raw bird can do weird things if hot stuffing is placed inside  
it, and one thing it can do is acquire some portion at a mean  
temperature within the "danger zone". Your best bet is probably a  
fully thawed bird (if it was ever frozen), and stuffing that is at  
least partially cooled, if not cold.

Most important is probably the question of the cooked temperature of  
the stuffing, which, having been exposed to bird juices, is now  
effectively poultry meat from a bacteriological cootie standpoint.  
When you have a fully stuffed bird, you need to get the temperature  
of the stuffing, presumably the coolest part, being farthest away  
from the ambient heat of the oven and all, high enough to kill the  
standard target pathogens, which is why many cooks prefer unstuffed  
bird and separate dressing.

I'm not sure I buy the idea of cooking the stuffing in the bird  
causing the rest of the bird to dry out, though. The stuffing has to  
get to 157 degrees F., and assuming a basted bird (I don't usually go  
too crazy on the basting), I'd be interested in seeing inside and  
outside temperature differentials... my theory is that they might not  
be as great as some people suppose.

I think on Friday we'll be truly disgusting and try an honest-to-Gosh  
larded bird, with a pound or so of fresh pork fatback and a larding  

I'm sure in a few years this is going to be the in thing; the new brine.


"S'ils n'ont pas de pain, vous fait-on dire, qu'ils  mangent de la  
brioche!" / "If there's no bread to be had, one has to say, let them  
eat cake!"
     -- attributed to an unnamed noblewoman by Jean-Jacques Rousseau,  
"Confessions", 1782

"Why don't they get new jobs if they're unhappy -- or go on Prozac?"
     -- Susan Sheybani, assistant to Bush campaign spokesman Terry  
Holt, 07/29/04

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