Last week, I stuffed a duck with rosemary and nectarine. The fruit helped keep the duck moist and perfumed the meat with rosemary.
I've also roasted chickens stuffed with onion, rosemary, sage, and tarragon. Other stuffings I've used are:
- Parsley and onion
- Onions, mushrooms, sage
- Whole sprigs of rosemary, sage, and thyme
- Apples, cinnamon, and nutmeg
- Apricots, and sage
- Grapes, currants, and rosemary
The keys to using this type of stuffing are to pack the cavity loosely and to not try to fill the cavity. Some air flow within the bird is desirable and helps with the perfuming of the meat. Fruits help the meat stay moist and the acids help cut the fat (especially for game birds like ducks and geese).
Make sure you take the temperature of the stuffing as well as the bird to ensure it is done. Rest the bird, then remove the stuffing; generally, you won't want to eat it.
This Thanksgiving, have fun with non-traditional stuffing. They can really add flavor to your bird without adding the calories (and carbs) of a traditional stuffing.