Goose, although not quite as tender as other fowl, more than makes up for it with its incomparable rich flavor—and the bonus of the best fat for cooking you will ever come by. I usually associate goose with a Dickensian Christmas, or at least cold weather time, but actually the best goose I ever had was one summer when my friends
Barbara called me that summer afternoon, saying. “You take this goose; I don’t know what to do with it.” I offered to give her cooking instructions but she said, “Never mind; it’s all yours.” We had been about to leave for a trip, but given this windfall, Elliott agreed to postpone the departure by several hours.
Since it was the end of summer, and the garden was full of thyme and sage, I took large bunches of each and stuffed the cavity of the goose. Perhaps because the goose was so young and free range (actually wild), there was hardly any fat, and the herbs thoroughly permeated the flesh. The texture and flavor were extraordinary. I now use this same method for roasting larger geese. It’s not quite the same but it is still quite wonderful.
|pepper, freshly ground||several grindings||•||•|
*If using Morton’s kosher salt or table salt, use
If the goose is frozen, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator for 2 to 2½ days. My cousin
Remove all loose fat from the cavity and discard it or render it for future use (see Note). Remove the neck and giblets from the cavity and, if desired, simmer them for 2 to 3 hours with the beef broth for the Salt and Pepper Wild Rice to enrich the broth. (Poach the liver in the broth for about 5 to 10 minutes as a special treat for the cook.)
Prick the goose all over, being careful not to go deeper than the fat layer. Sprinkle it inside and out with the salt and pepper. Place the garlic, thyme and sage in the cavity. Place the goose on the rack in the pan and tuck the wings back under the back. Pour
Allow the goose to rest for 30 minutes before carving. Return the thighs to the oven for about 10 minutes, or until no longer pink. If desired, turn up the heat to 400F. and roast the back section to crisp the skin. Garnish with seasonal fruits and herbs. After presenting the goose at the table, return it to the kitchen for carving. (It is difficult to carve a goose gracefully as the joints do not separate easily.)
NOTE: To render goose fat, process it in a food processor (or chop with a sharp heavy knife) into small pieces and place in a medium-size heavy saucepan. Add
© 1992 Rose Levy Beranbaum. All rights reserved.