Serious Eats: Recipes

Cook the Book: Turkey with Stuffing

Knowing Alton Brown's stance on stuffing, I must say I was a bit taken aback to find this Turkey with Stuffing recipe in Good Eats 2: The Middle Years,. For all intents and purposes, Brown is a stuffing hater, basically stating that a stuffed bird needs to be overcooked in order for the stuffing to reach a temperature safe for consumption.

But as a concession to those who can't live without a stuffed turkey, Brown has devised a method to simultaneously keep the stuffing safe while preventing the turkey from drying out. While he doesn't go into the scientific specifics too deeply, the stuffing is heated up in a microwave before being placed in the turkey's cavity, keeping temperatures high and getting the cooking started from the inside and out.

Having subscribed to Brown's anti-stuffing school of thought for a long time, this was my first experience with stuffing actually cooking inside the turkey. Once the turkey was brought up to the safe temperature of 170°F, I took it out of the oven and nibbled on a few preliminary bites. How different is true stuffing? The cooking turkey juices had seeped inside, making for a bready mix that was much moister, meatier, and deeply flavored than usual. It made me fully appreciate why so many folks swear by the stuffed bird; it really does taste better.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Good Eats: The Middle Years to give away this week.

Adapted from Good Eats: The Middle Years by Alton Brown. Copyright © 2010. Published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

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