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Oct 12, 2013 09:31 PM

Roast Chicken & Stuffing help

If I make two chickens in the oven at 425f does it take longer than cooking one (about and hour)? Ive never made two at the same time but Im having a thanksgiving dinner for the first time at my apartment tomorrow for some friends France that have never had one so I need to make two at the same time (but I dont like Turkey very much). I think it will take longer but am not sure by how much (especially if I have a couple casseroles in the oven too).

Also can someone tell me how to make a good stuffing, Ive never made it before. I have two packages of stuffing bread, sausages, dried cranberries, pine nuts, mushroom, celery, stock which I think is all need but I'm not sure.

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  1. Roasting the chickens takes about 1 1/2 hours. Here's some reference:

    You have everything you need to make stuffing...I cube & toast my bread in the oven first to dry it out. You could also cube it and leave it out at room temp to dry naturally overnight. I add sauté onions & celery in a bit of oil or butter until soft (You could add your mushrooms to this) Remove from skillet and set aside. Crumble the sausage into the same skillet, cooking over medium low temp until pink is removed. Remove & drain well. Add the veggies, sausage, bread, cranberries, pine nuts and some seasonings like sage and/or poultry seasoning, salt & pepper to a large bowl. I also use ground cumin and a couple of beaten eggs (you could leave this out).

    Mix together with enough broth to wet the ingredients but not soak them; spoon into a sprayed casserole dish. I dot it with butter and cover mine with foil. Bake for an hour or so @ 350 F or until firm, removing foil to brown during the last few minutes.

    If you're cooking casseroles at the same time as the chicken, you may need more time with the chickens. Good luck!

    1. Yes, it will take longer, but not twice as long. There's no rule or guidance that I'm aware of, but I'd use about 1.5 times as long. Getting the whole system (i.e. the oven & its contents) back up to cooking temp. after putting the birds in is the issue. A bit like adding two lumps of ice to a drink rather than jut one.

      BTW, 1 hour sounds really quick for all but the smallest fowl. Mr. Keller might disagree a bit, but I use 20 mins./lb plus 15 mins. at 400. You don't want your friends' first Thanksgiving to be memorable for the wrong reasons, so I'd cook for 2 hrs. 10 mins. at 400 for two 4lb birds, plus 15 minutes resting.

      I assume the casseroles will be going into the oven after the chickens? If they are in metal dishes try to get them properly hot on the cooktop (microwave to heat if in earthenware?) prior to placing in the oven and they should be fine. If they're going in cold add 10 minutes (guess) to the overall timing. They can of course continue cooking in the oven when the chickens are resting.

      Others will be better than me on the stuffing, but if you are putting it inside the chicks you'll need to weigh them, and up the cooking time as if they were heavier.

      1. Use a probe thermometer in one of the chickens. I would assume that when one is done they will both be done. You are looking for 165 degrees in the thigh.

        As for the stuffing, cook it outside of the chicken no matter what recipe you decide to use.

        8 Replies
        1. re: Philly Ray

          Why no interior stuffing please PR? Just curious.

          1. re: Robin Joy

            I don't know what Philly Ray's reasons are, but I can tell you mine. The bird cooks faster when it's unstuffed, and I love stuffing on its own anyway and like to make much more than will fit inside the cavity. Cooked in a casserole or roaster the stuffing (well, dressing in that case I guess you call it) can be as moist or dry as you like without any chance of it getting too wet or gluey.

            And if you have leftover chicken/turkey it's better to store it if it's unstuffed, both from taste and a food safety standpoint. If you're eating it all without leftovers the food safety thing is irrelevant, of course.

            1. re: ratgirlagogo

              Thanks rat.

              Completely agree about it being quicker in a separate dish, but we'd still call it stuffing. Here in the UK dressing as a noun is pretty much only used as a term for salad dressing. Not sure about the taste aspect (love cold chicken and stuffing sandwiches!), and can't really see the food safety issue with cold stuffed birds, but I'm sure it's a good point.

              No, it's really that PR seemed pretty emphatic about cooking it outside the bird. Maybe I've been lucky not to die an agonising death!

              1. re: Robin Joy

                I would not consider, ever, roasting a chicken or turkey unstuffed. The stuffing is the best part, so though I also make additional "dressing" in a casserole, it is never as good as the same ingredients cooked inside the cavity. It's simple enough to spoon it out once the cooking is completed, so the cavity can cool. Or you can put the stuffing into a cheesecloth bag before inserting it into the cavity, and you'll be able to pull out the bag easily.

                Re Cherylptw, oven-drying and staling by air exposure yield different results. Moisture is removed by oven-drying. In staling, the starch undergoes retrogradation, which means it crystallizes, entrapping the moisture. It may look and feel dry, but it's not. That's why heating stale bread refreshes it.

                My stuffing: Saute chopped onion in butter or chicken fat until translucent, mince and add the chicken liver, add diced celery. Stir into bread cubes. Cool slightly. Beat one egg per 4-6# chicken, add apple cider and chicken broth, pepper, dried summer savory, paprika. Stir together and pour over bread mixture. Stir. Add a tablespoon or two of golden raisins, and one small tart apple, peeled, cored, and diced. Mix into stuffing before filling bird. I do the same with the amount that I bake outside the bird, but more broth must be added.

                I recommend chunking a carrot, small onion, and celery stalk plus an apple, and strewing these on the bottom of the roasting pan, where they will flavor the drippings so your gravy will be extra-delectable.

                1. re: greygarious

                  You're right about the different bread texture; I also agree with stuffing the bird; to me, it don't taste the same in a casserole.

            2. re: Robin Joy

              I don't know if I was being over emphatic about it, but the stuffing also needs to reach an internal temp of 165 degrees to be done so if the bird and the stuffing do not hit that temp at the same time, one of them will end up overcooked.

              And I'm using the word "stuffing" as a catch-all for however you cook it, inside or outside the bird.

              1. re: Philly Ray

                Completely see your point. I guess that lightly pre-cooking any meat element of the stuffing like Cheryl and grey suggest would minimise that particular problem? Less of an issue with meatless stuffing though (although this would still absorb some heat, which makes the roast require a little longer).

                We've strayed a little off subject! Enough from me.

                1. re: Robin Joy

                  No it's not the meat in the stuffing that's an issue. It's the fact that the stuffing absorbs the bacteria laden juice from the chicken and needs to come to 165 before it's safe to eat.

                  If you leave the stuffing in the bird the chicken will usually overcook by the time the stuffing has come to 165.

                  The solution is to take the stuffing out of the chicken when the chicken is done and finish cooking the stuffing in a casserole dish.

                  I stuff my turkey and chicken with aromatics and wine soaked bread and make bread stuffing in a casserole dish