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Goose Stuffed with Chestnuts and Apples

3 3/4 kg Goose
Salt & freshly ground pepper
1 1/4 kg Small desert apples
215 g Butter
750 g Chipolata sausages
500 g Canned chestnuts
1 pn Cinnamon
1 md Carrot, quartered
1 md Onion, quartered
1 Stalk celery, cut crosswise into thirds
1/2 Lemon
45 g Butter, melted
60 ml White wine
450 g Whole cranberries in syrup
1/2 bn Watercress, to garnish

Rinse the goose inside and out under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Remove the wing tips at the second joint and reserve, along with the neck and gizzard. Sprinkle all over with salt and pepper.

Prepare the stuffing: reserve 6 apples for the garnish. Peel, core and quarter the rest. Heat 60 g (2 oz) of the butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the quartered apples and cook, stirring frequently, for about 15 minutes, until tender. While the apples are cooking, put the sausages in a medium saucepan with enough cold water to cover. Bring to the boil and cook for 1 minute, then drain. Heat 30 g (1 oz) of the butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Reserve half the sausages for the garnish and saute the rest for 2-3 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon. Roughly chop the cooked apples and the sauteed sausages and combine in a bowl. Drain the chestnuts; reserve half for the garnish and crumble the rest into the bowl with the apples and sausages. Season with salt, pepper and a pinch of cinnamon and mix carefully.

Preheat the oven to 220 c (425 F) Gas Mark 7

Spoon the stuffing into the body cavity of the goose. Sew up the opening with string and a trussing needle. Truss the goose, just as you would a chicken: Place the goose on its back on a work surface. Pass a long piece of fine string underneath the tail. Bring the ends of the string up around each leg and cross the ends over the top. Bring both ends of the string under the tips of the legs and pull both ends of the string to draw the legs together. Then draw the ends of the string along either side of the chicken and over the wing joings. Turn the chicken over on its breast, cross the string over the neck skin, and tighten to pull the wings to the body. Tie securely.

Heat 60 g (2 oz) of the butter in a roasting tin over medium heat. Add the goose and brown it on all sides. Addtrhe carrot, onion, celery and the reserved neck, wing tips and gizzard. Roast for about 2 hours, until the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with a skewer. Cover the goose with aluminium foil once it has browned. Baste frequently with the pan drippings to preven the meat from drying out.

While the goose is roasting, peel the 6 reserved apples and trim them to equal sizes. Hollow out the centres with a vegetable peeler or melon baller, without piercing the sides ot bottom of the apples. Rub the apples with the cut side of the lemon to prevent discoloration. Put them on a baking sheet and brush with the melted butter. Set aside.

When the goose is cooked, transfer it to a platter; reserve the roasting tin with the juices. Cover the goose with aluminium foil and leave it to rest in a warm place for about 15 minutes.

Reduce the over ntemperature to 200 c (400 f) Gas Mark 6 and bake the apples for 15-20 minutes, until tender.

While the apples are cooking, prepare the sauce: discard the fat in the roasting tin and add the wine. Bring to the boil over high heat and deglaze the tin, scraping the bottom to release the cooked particles. Strain into a small saucepan. Bring back to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, skimming off any fat the rises to the surface, until slightly reduced. Off the heat, whisk in 30 g (1 oz) of butter, little by little. Keep the sauce hot over a saucepan of hot water.

While the sauce is cooking, prepare the garnish: heat 30 g (1 oz) of the butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the reserved chestnuts and cook for 10 minutes, stirring gently so as not to break them. Meanwhile, heat 15 g (1/2 oz) of the butter in another frying pan over the medium heat. Add the reserved sausages and brown for 5 minutes. Warm the cranberries in their syrup in a small saucepan over low heat.

To serve, remove the trussing string from the goose. Transfer to a serving platter. Spoon the cranberries into the hollowed out centres of the cooked apples. Arrange the filled apples, sausages and chestnuts around the goose. Garnish the platter with watercress. Serve the sauce in a sauceboat.

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