Saturday, December 26, 2009

Our Christmas Goose.

Here it is. Our Christmas goose.

I bought this goose at Super Target, which seems an odd place to find a goose, but it was by far the best deal. It weighed 8.5 pounds and, I won't lie, it intimidated me.

I had read countless accounts of people claiming that their goose was too greasy after being cooked and I was determined to not have that happen to my goose. So, I browsed the internet looking for recipes and I found two that I liked and decided to combine them and make them my own.

Now begins my goose roasting journey...

First, after having the goose thaw in my refrigerator for two days, I scrounged around to find a container big enough to brine my goose in. Elisabeth's art box did the trick.

I filled the box until the water covered the goose.

Then I measured out 1/4 cup of Kosher salt (you could use sea salt too)

and poured the salt into the water and stirred it around.

We had the goose sit in its salt bath overnight in our garage, since it was fricking freezing outside and our garage is quite chilly.

Here's what it looked like when we brought it in Christmas day. See all the fat floating around. Ew.

I planned on stuffing the goose with an assortment of fruits and veggies. Apples, oranges, garlic, onions and celery. Oh, and make sure you're enjoying a cup of coffee in a Santa mug. It is Christmas after all.

I cut every thing up into quarters and smashed my garlic cloves.

Then I started prepping my goose. I took out the neck and bag of giblets. Next, I took off all the fat by the tail. Geese have fatty bottoms, and if I'd left all the fat there, it would have made the goose very greasy.

I made sure that I dried my goose and

started stuffing. I poured lemon juice, salt and pepper inside the goose's cavity and used my hand to make sure it was completely coated.

Then I stuffed in all my fruits and vegetables.

I put the flap of skin back over the legs. You can use twine to make sure that it's snug, but i chose not to.

I sprinkled the top of the goose with Kosher salt and rubbed it into the skin.

Okay, here's an important part! I pricked the skin of the goose with a knife to let out the fat that is under the skin while the goose is cooking. This is yet another step to making sure your goose is not too greasy.

Because I do not have a proper roasting pan, I cut up some onions and use them as a "rack" so that my goose did not touch the bottom of the pan. Otherwise my goose would have been all soggy and bleh. I also added two cups of water to the pan.

I had preheated the oven to 450 and put the goose in. Once the goose was in, I turned the temperature down to 350. They say to cook the goose 20-25 minutes per pound, so I set my timer for 3 hours.

While it was cooking, I started putting together my basting syrup. I found one recipe I liked and modified it a bit. I mainly modified it to accommodate this:

My in-laws bought us some sides for our Christmas dinner from a store online that had English food. It was shipped to us before Christmas. This brandy butter not only smelled so divine I almost ate it with a spoon, it brought some real depth to my basting sauce. My sauce consisted of 1/3 C. of corn syrup; 1/3 C. of cane syrup; 1/3 C. of the brandy butter, melted (yum yum yum); 2 Tbsp. of apple juice; and 1/4 C. of brown sugar. Mix together and baste the goose every half hour. This helped us to check the goose to make sure that it's fat wasn't about to spill over into the oven (which would have been not good because grease fires tend to not be good things).

Here's how the goose is looking with just an hour to go. Look how golden brown the goose's skin is!

We took the goose out once it reached 170 degrees inside the breast. Look how yummy it looks!!!!

Evan carved the goose. Look how dark the meat is! It had the texture of turkey and was not greasy. In fact, I probably could have left in a little bit of the fat, but no biggie.

I served the goose with my Wild Rice Dressing, Mashed Potatoes and Mushy Peas. The Mushy Peas (which are not shown on my plate because I don't like peas AT ALL, so I did not eat any) were another contribution from my in-laws. Mushy peas are a side dish they often ate when they were visiting London. We also had a traditional Christmas Pudding (yet another contribution from NinaPapa) that was like a bread pudding filled with dates and raisins. Julia and I loved it, Evan thought it was okay and Elisabeth hated it.

Overall, the goose was very good. The meat is very rich in taste, which means we couldn't eat a large portion of it like we would have with turkey. Both girls liked it and I have some plans with the leftovers.

Will we be having goose every year? Um, no. Would I make it again in the future? Absolutely. It was no harder then roasting a turkey and I liked the flavor of the goose more then I do a turkey. It's flavor is intense and dark in a way that the turkey's is not. Having said that, it's a flavor that isn't as easy to mask as a turkey's (say with gravy or salt). Evan was very happy with his Christmas goose, and really, that's the whole reason I cooked it.

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