Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Nov 19, 2012 09:49 PM

My first thanksgiving and I have questions (re: temp. probe placement and oyster stuffing!)

It's my husband and I's first time hosting thanksgiving and we are serving 15 guests counting ourselves and our child. We have a 16 lb. bird that we got on a sale that we did not notice until later appears to have some marking that implies it is injected with a brine. We were planning on a brine (cider brine from epicurious)...can we still do that
Second question, where is the proper placement for our probe thermometer? Have seen both breast and thigh (thickest parts) recommended. Which is
Honestly we just want a decent bird that is all one coloall over. Help!
PS Hit me with your best oyster stuffing (cornbread) recipe, please?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. a) If your bird is already brined, I wouldn't do another brine. You're risking a salt-cured bird.

    b) I test both the thigh and the breast - then there's no guessing and no hopping up and down in the kitchen because you've started carving and something's not done.

    3) Remember than tens of thousands of people are roasting birds this year - and most of them will be just fine. Don't use a deep roaster -- it will keep the skin from browning -- but a rack in a regular roasting pan will give you a beautifully browned bird.

    4) I make oyster dressing, but it's not with cornbread --- and I'm not sure it's much of a recipe, as it's more a list of ingredients!

    I'm going to skip the bread preparation, as I've never made cornbread stuffing!

    Saute onions and celery in some butter.

    Put the bread in a large bowl and add the onions and celery, seasonings (I use parsley and sage) and an egg or two (depends on how much you're making). Add stock until the bread is moistened -- you don't want it wet. Fold in the oysters gently.

    Bake at 350-375 until it reads 160F on your thermometer.

    4 Replies
    1. re: sunshine842

      sunshine, do you fold in whole, raw oysters to your dressing? I usually sautee them first and cut them into 1/2 inch pieces. I find a little oyster goes a long way. I also add roasted chestnuts and either mushrooms or huitlacoche, so I have a lot of flavors and textures at work, plus the sage and onion and celery. This year I'm doing 5-hour duck because I only will have a table for two, but I can make a meal from just good stuffing.

      1. re: Veggo

        Yep, they go in raw. If they're really big, I'll cut them in half, but still raw.

        1. re: sunshine842

          That sounds really good. Skip the poultry, that's an oyster casserole!

          1. re: Veggo

            ah, not quite - I use a dozen or dozen-and-a-half for enough dressing to feed thirty people (actually more than that - I make too much because leftover oyster dressing is one of my favorite things in the world, especially if I have leftover giblet gravy to put over it)

            They're also big fat Normandy oysters-- the size that Apalachicolas used to be, way back when. (waxes nostalgic for burlap bags of 25 pounds of oysters...)