Trussing is optional and not essential, although a trussed bird is easier to carve
. Besides, a trussed bird has a nicer and much more presentable appearance.
Occasionally, with trussing, you may find that the whiter meat of the bird cooks more quickly than the darker parts, such as the inner thigh. This will result in the whiter meat being done, whilst the darker meat has yet to finish cooking. This is because the heat does not reach the innermost part of the bird as quickly.
You should never stop cooking the bird until the inner thigh has reached a temperature of 180°F (82°C), as this could result in food poisoning due to consuming uncooked meat.
A meat thermometer can be used to check the temperature and should be inserted into the thigh of the bird, ensuring that the thermometer does not touch the bone, just before placing the bird into the oven.
If the bird needs more time in the oven in order to fully cook the darker parts of meat, there is a possibility that the white meat will start to dry out, if it is already cooked.
A bird can be trussed whether you are going to stuff it
or not. However, it is probably best not to truss chicken, as it is smaller in size and will most likely maintain its shape. This way, the lighter and darker meats will cook more evenly. On the other hand, with a larger bird, such as a turkey, it is better to truss it.
If you do intend on stuffing the bird, make sure it has been thoroughly cleaned beforehand and then insert the stuffing into the cavities before you actually truss the bird. Trussing will ensure that the stuffing does not fall out during cooking.
In addition, to make carving easier, the wishbone can be removed by cutting it out with a sharp narrow-bladed knife, before you are ready to truss the bird, although again, this is entirely optional.
To remove the wishbone, run your fingers along the breast until you find the bone. Then, using the knife, cut along the top edge and along both sides of the wishbone. Gently hold the wishbone with your fingers and pull it free from the bird.
Do not forget to remove all trussing before you are ready to serve.