I’m feeling rather inspired to blog about my most recent culinary adventure while relaxing here on the sofa, enjoying a nice cab, watching Julie & Julia. This past weekend Curt and I hosted our annual Christmas party, and we did get rather adventureous with the menu, which included: wild boar, Christmas goose, bison chili, roasted turkey, 4-cheese pasta for our vegetarian friends, plus a plethera of side dishes. It’s true, I did cook for a week, but it was a pretty fabulous dinner, if I say so myself.
Step 1: Find the goose, then prep
While it can be difficult to find a goose at our markets here in Pasadena, it’s a different story at the Asian markets in Alhambra. So, just a short drive south, I found a goose in the freezer section and let it defrost in my refrigerator for a few days.
Having never prepared goose before, I simply had no idea what to expect with my “Confucious-style-goose” … but was I ever surprised to discover that Confucious liked his goose completely intact … from head to toe! I shreeked when I turned the goose over and discovered an eyeball looking ominously in my direction.
Fortunately my foodie friend Shelley, who is much braver than I, had volunteered to help in the kitchen that night, and I was grateful that she took on the task of clearing out all of the frightening “parts” that were completely unfamiliar to me.
I planned to follow the recipe by one of my favorite authors, Molly Stevens, and did so successfully until the end … but more about that later. To prep the goose, tear off any loose deposits of fat inside the cavity openings. Using a sharp skewer or paring knife, prick holes in the skin around the lower breast and thighs (the holes allow fat to release from under the skin during cooking). Then generously sprinkle salt and pepper inside and out, and leave the bird resting uncovered on a half sheet pan in the refrigerator.
Step 2: Steam the goose
Place the goose, breast side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Pour water into the roaster pan until it is about 1-2 inches deep, then cover tightly with heavy-duty foil. Set the roaster on the stove, and heat on medium high heat until the water is boiling. Turn down the heat so the water gently simmers. Steam the goose for 40 minutes. After the steaming process, I noticed a few pinfeathers, but they were easy to pluck out with my needle-nose plyers.
Step 3: Roast the goose
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Lift the roasting rack and goose out of the roasting pan and set aside on a tray. Pour the steaming liquid into a clean vessel and leave at room temperature until cool. Return the roasting rack and goose to the roasting pan. Transfer to the oven and roast until the meat on the drumsticks feels soft when pressed, about 2 hours. The internal temperature of the thigh meat should be about 180 degrees. Set the goose in a draft-free spot to rest for 20-45 minutes, tenting with foil if your kitchen is cool. Carve and serve.
Unfortunately I fell behind with the craziness of having 100 people for dinner, so I didn’t follow the recipe closely to make Molly’s gravy. Having made several of her recipes, I can imagine how tasty the gravy would be, so, don’t be a cheapskate! Bite the bullet and just order her roasting cookbook … you won’t be disappointed!