Yankee turkey stuffing information

Yield: 1 Servings

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I have reconstructed the feature article on the subject of Turkey Stuffing from the November 1996 issue of Yankee Magazine. Some pages were missing from my copy of the issue and some pages were damaged. The following is what survived. It appears that, in a previous issue, Yankee asked readers for recipes, stories and information about turkey stuffing. They received mail from Florida, Ontario, Iowa, West Virginia, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, California and Vermont.

Summary of discussion re: "dressing" versus "stuffing": The terms are both used equally in all regions; they do not denote different foods. The only regional variations in either dressing or stuffing are - a fondness for adding apples in VT and NH - a disinclination among most New Englanders to include numeats, i.e., chestnuts, pecans, walnuts, hickory and butternuts, but nutmeats do appear in recipes from NY state and points south and west Most stuffings are based on bread, though potatoes mixed with bread came in a surprisingly strong second. Crackers were a distant third and there are actually people out there who are fond and *proud* of stuffing their Thanksgiving bird with oatmeal. There was rice, but not much and perhaps not surprisingly, the cornbread contingent was darn ear silent. It would take some crust to admit to Yankee that you went south at Thanksgiving.

The Gentle Art of Stuffing

Numerous experiments have established that an unstuffed turkey has juicier meat and is easier and quicker to roast than the tradional holiday bird. So what? Turkey parts work better than whole turkeys, if it comes to that, and in any case we're not in this for th turkey (extreme stuffing recipes call for discarding it after the stuffing is done). Be sure to choose a turkey with ample skin at the back for closure and a large, intact flap of skin at the neck. This area, known as the crop, can hold as much stuffing as the inside of the bird. Measurements are always approximate -- a little more or less of anything won't hurt the finished product. If Aunt Maude hates the chestnuts that Cousin Frank loves, add them to only part of the stuffing and put it in the neck cavity. Old-fashioned stuffing and forcemeat recipes tend to be very rich, at least partly because old-fashioned turkeys were very lean; fat in the stuffing provided continual basting from within.

Turkey still needs all the help it can get, so the less fat you use in your stuffing the more important it is to include things like apples and celery which will add moisture with minimum risk of sog. Don't stuff the bird until you're ready to cook it, and remove the stuffing promptly after the roast has been served. Bacteria multiply rapidly in that slow-cooling, airless interior. Several readers made a point of reporting that they'd always stuffed the turkey the night before and they weren't dead yet. But the people who *did* die may have been too busy to write, so I'm not sure that proves anything. Mrs. Hill was right. Don't cram. Bread stuffing needs to expand as it cooks and will end up gummy if it's rammed in there too tight. It may also explode outward, ruining the look of the turkey and making a roya lmess of the oven. Bake extra stuffing in a well-buttered shallow casserole for about an hour at 350F. Cover for the first 40 minutes or so then uncover and dot with butter so the top can take a nice crust.

Recipe by: Yankee Magazine, November 1996. Posted to MC-Recipe Digest V1 #662 by Peg Baldassari <Baldassari@...> on Jul 9, 1997

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