Roast Goose and Sprouts

I make a goose for the holidays (either Christmas or Thanksgiving ) every year  and Oh to die for! I found that that normally duck or goose is greasy but the goose made this way has no grease; the skin is dry and crispy. Some people let the goose sit in brine 24 hours before cooking but boiling the brine and giving the goose a good bath and then letting it dry for a couple of days in the fridge does the same thing,  degreases the skin the same way,  without eating up space in the fridge. You can do the same process  with duck with the same results.

 I bought a 10 lb goose frozen, thawed it out and let the fun begin. It’s a richer, tastier meat than chicken or turkey and is carved like a chicken. I saved the “schmaltz”  (straining the fat through a coffee filter and putting it it a jar) for other things and with the carcass, I will make a soup.

The trick to a fat free crispy skin is pricking the skin( be careful not to prick the flesh underneath) , especially around the legs and breast and boiling the bird 48 hours before you roast it. I take a large stock pot, filled 2/3 full of water, put a bay leaf, 10 junniper berries, 10 pepper corns, 1/2 cu each of brown sugar and salt and bring to a boil. Put the goose in head first and leave maybe a minute or two, until the goose bumps rise. Take it out and put it in tail first for the same length of time. Put in a roaster and dry “naked” in the refrigerator for 48 hours.

Preheat the oven on the day you  want to roast to 325. Rub Salt and lemon juice on the inside of  the bird; salt andpepper the outside. Let sit while you make your stuffing. The food processor is my friend. Chopped everything from bread to fruits in there!

STUFFING:

8 cps stale white bread (I use Pepperidge Farms and split the loaf and leave it out for 2 weeks.

2 cps milk or buttermilk

1 1/2cps (generous )  shelled pistachios, lightly chopped,

6oz bag each of chopped dried apricots   and dried cranberries

5 tbs melted butter

1 1/2 cps chicken broth(liquids may be adjusted for moister or drier stuffing)

several good grinds salt and pepper

2 tbs fresh thyme

4 shallots , minced or one onion

3/4 cp fresh parsley, chopped fine

3 eggs. whisked

Run the bread through your food processor until its chopped course and soak the bread in milk or buttermilk until soft and squeeze through.  Fry up the onion or shallots in the butter and add to mixture. Add the nuts and fruits and eggs, parsley, Grinds of salt, pepper and add the thyme . Then give it all a good squeezing to mix.

You’re ready to stuff the bird. Put it in every opening you can. Sew shut with needle and twine.  If you can’t sew the butt end, make sure to cover exposed stuffing with an aluminum cover for the first few hours of roasting but baste it whenever you baste the goose. Whatever is left, put in a baking dish to make with the goose. Put in the oven the last hour of the roasting time. When you baste the goose, you baste the dressing.

Roast the goose:

Add all the giblets to the bottom of the pan and put any extra fat over the breast or butt end for the stuffing. Sometimes I’ve even covered the breast in a few strips of bacon to start it out. Keeps the meat very moist

Put the goose on a rack in the roaster and roast low 325. Make sure to add a couple of cups of water to the pan or the grease will sizzle and make a mess (learned that the hard way one year). Don’t do anything for the first hour but then start basting about every half hour to get that gorgeous color. Let it roast for about 4 hours ,checking  the water in the pan. Internal temp needs to be 170 on the thermometer to count as done. Let the baby rest for about 20 minutes and then carve like a chicken (learned that the hard way too one year).

Drain all the liquid out of the pan when done and strain and keep it. Make a brown gravy out of some of it, deglazing the pan (the best part – I usually end up sopping crust with all that brown goodness). Schmaltz is wonderful flavoring for potato pancakes, smashed potatoes and vegetables. Some people even use it as a spread on bread (had it in Austria- not too bad but I wouldn’t make a habit of it)

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