Cornbread Stuffing with Kale, Bacon & Pecans

Stuffing is always one of my favorite parts of the holiday. Or dressing, as the case may be.

Because there is no way in hell I’m putting something this good inside a bird. I know there are stuffing vs. dressing fans on either side of the debate, but here’s why I will never eat anything cooked while stuffed inside a chicken or turkey.

Cornbread Stuffing with Kale, Bacon & Pecans

The bird needs to be 165 degrees in the white meat and 175 in the dark to be done and safe to eat. While that giant bird is cooking over many hours, raw poultry juices are soaking into the stuffing inside the bird. Juices that are sitting in the danger zone, temperature-wise, for many hours.

When the meat is cooked, what temperature would you guess the inside of that bird-juice-soaked stuffing is? If it’s anything less than the breast meat, you’re heading for food poisoningland. I do not like food poisoningland.

Final point – how is there any way that the cavity of that bird can contain the amount of stuffing needed to feed the amount of people you have gathered? There isn’t. So let’s just skip the middleman and the E. coli, cook in a casserole separately, and call it dressing. Good deal.

[Read more…]