Originally Posted by ChefBradley
Look at why you are stuffing the bird in the first place. Is it to plug the hole in the cavity of the bird? Is it to add moisture? Is it to add flavor to the stuffing and the bird? If you want to stuff the cavity use some fresh herbs (sage, thyme) and aromatic vegetables (Onions and celery/celery tops). These will steam inside the bird and add flavor and moisture, if this is a concern. You can discard the onions and celery at the end of the cooking process without the fear of food borne illness. If you like the look, you can put the stuffing you cooked on the side, in the cavity after the turkey is fully cooked.
I'm putting the stuffing in the bird to get the bird's flavor into the stuffing, and secondarily to get the flavor into the bird. But i stuff under the skin with herbs and butter, so that flavor aspect is secondary. I simply dislike stuffing that doesn't taste of the turkey.
Mine has no egg, so no problem there.
Mine is not goopy. I think goopy comes from using bread that is made with milk - standard commercial white bread in the states, which when wet gets goopy, no matter what you do. I use italian bread and there is no goopyness. When I'm not pressed for time i make simple cornbread. It's soft, yes, but incredibly tasty. I start with browned livers and giblets, sauteed celery and add very reduced turkey broth, a mashed potato (no milk, just potato - makes it soft but not goopy) and bread. A little thyme or marjoram, and salt and pepper. I think the taste for crispy stuffing comes from the fact that since people used to put warm stuffing in the turkey, left it overnight, and got food poisoning, everyone has gone to the opposite extreme and cooks it separately. That makes it end up being crispy. Then people got to like the crispiness.
Stuffing, historically, was NEVER crispy, it was juicy, soft, moist.
I think the food safety issues got extreme because some people won't take the precautions to make the stuffing get cold overnight before stuffing the turkey. Yeah, of course you can't put warm stuffing in the bird, or even stuff it with cold stuffing the night before. But if it is really dangerous to put COLD stuffing in a cold bird, let me know what is the danger. I don't see it.
The rest is simply a matter of taste. I hate crispy stuffing.