Half-Pekinged Goose with Wild Rice-Chipotle Stuffing

Necessary equipment:

(Please note: Teaspoons are US teaspoons equalling 5 ml fluid measure. Tablespoons are USA tablespoons equalling approx. 15 ml fluid measure.)

To begin with, acquire:
  • 1 goose massing 4 kg / 9 lb or thereabouts, with giblets and neck if at all possible
For the stuffing: For the gravy:
  • 2 liters or 2 quarts goose stock (Not something you have to have on hand...it happens during the cooking.)
  • 1/3 cup or 40 grams plain flour
  • 4 fluid ounces or 120 milliliters red wine (or more to taste. And not "cooking wine"! Don't give the pot anything you wouldn't drink yourself.)
  • 1 lemon
  • 2.75 fluid ounces or 80 milliliters port (Nothing too fancy. Keeping up too close a parity between what you and the pot get to drink is an affectation.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Remove the giblet-and-neck package from the goose. Present food hygeine wisdom suggests that washing poultry before stuffing it is merely a great way to spread around whatever germs might be in there, so merely pat dry with paper towels unless the goose has been ineptly drawn and it really seems to need a wash. -- Prick the goose carefully all over with a skewer, trying hard to prick the skin only, not the flesh of the goose beneath. Explain to the gathering cats/dogs that goose causes cancer.

Fill the 10-liter stockpot about 2/3 full of water and bring to a boil. When at full rolling boil, duck the "head end" of the goose into the boiling water as far as it will go. Keep immersed for at least 1 minute, or until (surprise) goosebumps form on the skin. Remove and immerse the rear end of the goose and repeat the process.

Take the goose out of the boiling water and put on a rack over a cookie sheet to drain. Explain to the cats/dogs that goose causes cancer. The goose's skin will start to become taut after being removed from the boiling water. Use the hair dryer to dry out the skin of the goose slightly. (Ten minutes or so is enough.) Fat will start running out of the skin during this process. Evict cats/dogs and leave the goose on the rack to drain for a while.

Pour off all but two liters / two quarts of the goose-boiling water and add the giblets and neck to it. Simmer on low heat from now until it's time to make gravy.

Meanwhile, prepare the stuffing. Put the wild rice in a microwave-proof casserole with 24 fluid ounces / 600 milliliters of water and microwave on high power for 5 minutes and on medium for 25 minutes. (Or cook on the stovetop according to package directions: but microwaving is usually faster.) Drain and put in a dish with a little butter. While the wild rice is cooking, cube the sliced bread and toast it in a low oven on a cookie sheet for twenty minutes or so (or do it in the toaster, if you're lazy or in a rush. Preferably before cubing it). Toss the toasted, cubed bread together with the bread crumbs in a large bowl. Season with herbes de Provence, orange or lemon zest, parsley, sage, thyme, salt, pepper, chipotle chiles, garlic powder, celery seed, and the paprikas. Melt butter in water, add the bouillon cube or stock cube and the juice of the lemon, and heat or microwave briefly until all is melted together; toss the wild rice together with the dry stuffing ingredients, and then add the butter/water/lemon juice/bouillon mixture and toss the whole business until well mixed. Set aside until the goose is finished draining.

Stuff the main cavity of the goose and use your preferred method (twine or whatever) to fasten the legs together to keep the stuffing from falling out, meanwhile explaining to the cats/dogs that goose still causes cancer. If available, cut off some of the neck skin off to cover any exposed stuffing with (as stuffing the neck-cavity of a goose usually turns out to be difficult and/or frustrating if not impossible). Put the goose breast down on the rack. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade / 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Insert the goose and lower temperature to 375 F / 190 C. Roast at this temperature for the first hour, then lower temperature to 325 F / 160 C. After the second hour of roasting, remove the goose from the rack. Drain goose fat from the pan and replace rack: return the goose to the rack, on its back this time. Explain to the cats/dogs that goose causes not only cancer but mange. Put the goose back in the oven and roast for one more hour. Put the goose fat aside to settle.

At the end of the hour, remove the goose and allow it to rest for at least half an hour -- the period while the gravy is being made should be sufficient. -- Strain the stock from the stock pot. Pour excess fat out of the roasting pan. Scrape the pan and put scrapings and a little goose fat into a saucepan. Add a little butter and warm. Add more butter and the flour. Make a roux and cook it moderately dark. Add the red wine, port, the juice of the remaining lemon, and half the stock: add more as the gravy cooks, if needed. Simmer until thick. Meanwhile, pour the settled goose fat into small jars and put in the freezer for making roast potatoes later in the year. Then mop the floor with a strong detergent, since by now goose fat has gotten just about everywhere, and the floor's coefficient of friction has begun to resemble that of a newly Zamboni'd skating rink.

Carve the goose. Serve with rowanberry jelly on the side (or cranberry or redcurrant jelly if you can't get rowanberry), and mashed potatoes and a vegetable, possibly green beans with sliced boiled chestnuts or something along those lines. Poach the goose liver gently in a little gravy, give it to the cats/dogs, and tell them you were just kidding about the cancer.

Yield: 6-8 servings.

Devised for Christmas/Solstice dinner 2001 by dduane2, after thinking about the famous "Black Turkey Recipe" and deciding it was too much trouble

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