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An Absolutely Perfect Roast Goose!
1 10 to 12 lb. goose either fresh or frozen and thawed
I have made a Thanksgiving goose every year for at least 15 years. I have steadily gained on making the perfect bird but I finally found the greatest recipe ever in Cook's Magazine. The divine part of this approach to cooking the goose is that it employs some of the eastern method of drying the skin which is used in Peking Duck. The skin simply drops all its fat and leaves a crispy, dry, delectable skin that folks fight over! No more rubbery, yucky goose skin full of fat!
A frozen goose is perfectly adequate. Have thawed 24 to 48 hours before the meal (48 is better.) Prick the goose well all over, especially on the breast and on the upper legs, holding the skewer almost paralel with the bird so as to avoid piercing the flesh. Fill a very large pot 2/3 full of water (pot should be large enough to almost accomodate the bird) and bring to a boil. Using rubber gloves submerge bird (neck side down) for 1 minute (till goose bumps arise.) Repeat the process (this time with the tail side down.) Drain the goose, breast side up on a rack in a large roasting pan and set in the refrigerator, naked, to dry the skin for 24 to 48 hours.
When you are ready to roast the bird, on the big day. Make your favorite stuffing. I made one in "94" that seemed to be well liked. The night before Thanksgiving I cooked 1 1/2 cups (raw) wild rice in about 5 cups of water. Drained and chilled overnight. In the morning I added soaked, cut up dry shitake mushrooms along with their soaking water with an egg beaten into it. A tablespoon of poultry seasoning, a sauteed onion, plenty of salt and freshly ground pepper.
Now you salt and pepper the bird insdie and out, liberally. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees while you are stuffing and sewing up the bird. Place it in the oven in a roaster and on a rack on it's breast. For a 12 1/3 lb. goose I needed a full 5 hours but this is quite a large bird. Just close the oven and let it stay, undisturbed for 1 1/2 hours. After this time, take it out of the oven. Use a baster to draw out the fat that has accumulated in the bottom of the pan (schmaltz lovers, send up a cheer) You can strain this fat through a coffee filter, putting the schmaltz in small bottles which keep very well in the freezer for up to a year.) Turn the bird over on its back before you put it back in the oven. put it back in for another hour before you start checking for doneness. The recipe gave the best advice on checking for doneness, at this point, that I have ever seen. With a piece of terry rag, squeeze the upper drumstick (not thigh) lightly. If it feels kind of squishy, like roast beef, it's done. Every bird is different so you must judge when it is done. When meat is done (be patient, it may take a while), raise the heat to 400 degrees. Remove roaster from the oven and transfer bird (rack and all) to a jelly roll pan. Put it back in the oven for 15 minutes to further crisp and brown the bird. Take it out and let it sit, uncovered for a half an hour.
Regarding the roaster, after you remove the bird to a jelly roll pan and put that in the oven, remove the fat from the roaster and put it over 2 burners adding about 2/3 cup of dry sherry and deglaze the pan with a wooden spoon. combine these drippings with your giblet broth either to make a gravy or to use later for goose carcass, slow cooker broth.
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