Duck Stuffing

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About: Architect/designer based in SE Minnesota. Resource based problem solver... in other words, I always take a minute to peek in construction dumpsters :) ---the way some have to workout everyday... i have to m...

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.

Core Ingredients:

  • 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

Spices:

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

....Cooking Gadgets. I'm using the thermopro dual prong wireless thermometer. This older version was a prize from a past competition where I showed how I grill ribs. Thanks Thermopro!

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.

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