Poultry, About Stuffing

Here are some general guidelines to follow when preparing stuffing for poultry:

  • Prepare stuffing but stuff the bird only just before placing it into the oven. To help eliminate the risk of bacterial growth, never stuff poultry in advance of roasting. You should stuff, truss and roast.
  • Don’t overstuff the cavity since the mixture will expand in the oven and, if packed too tightly, the stuffing will be heavy and overly dense. To estimate accurately the amount of stuffing that will fit comfortably within the cavity, figure on 1/2 cup of stuffing for each pound of turkey. And make sure to allow for a longer roasting time since stuffed poultry takes longer to reach the desired internal temperature of 170°F for the breast meat, 180°F for the thigh and 160°F for the stuffing. (Insert an instant reading thermometer directly into stuffing to check the temperature.)
  • If you have more stuffing than can fit into the cavity, spoon any remaining mixture into a buttered baking dish. Dot top with butter, season with salt and pepper and cover dish with greased aluminum foil. Bake at 375°F until piping hot, about 45 minutes. Uncover for the last 15 minutes or so, to crisp the top.
  • Make sure to remove any leftover stuffing from within the cooked turkey carcass before refrigerating to eliminate the possibility of bacterial contamination to the stuffing

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