Servings: eight to ten.
The rich, all-dark, almost beefy taste of goose makes it perfect holiday fare (plus, who can resist the lure of a traditional Dickensian Christmas?). If you have an oval roaster with a cover (either an old-fashioned speckled enameled one or a newer model), this is an ideal time to use it. If your roaster doesn’t have a cover, you can use heavy-duty aluminum foil instead. You’ll need to prepare the goose, make the broth, and prepare the bread and prunes a day ahead.
Combine the prunes and brandy for the stuffing in a small bowl, cover, and steep overnight. Arrange the bread cubes for the stuffing on a baking sheet and set aside, uncovered, to dry overnight.
Transfer the vegetables to a large mixing bowl. Stir in the bread cubes, soaked prunes, parsley, orange and lemon zests, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Chop the liver and add it to the bowl. Check the goose for pinfeathers or quills—these are most often found around the legs. Remove any with strong tweezers or pliers. Using a large spoon, loosely fill the large cavity of the goose with stuffing. If there is any leftover stuffing, use it to fill the smaller neck cavity.
Pour the steaming liquid from the roasting pan into a clean vessel and leave at room temperature until cool. When the liquid and fat are cool enough to handle, spoon the fat off, set aside 2 Tbs. for the gravy, and reserve the rest for cooking; discard the water.
Return the roasting rack and goose to the roasting pan. Roast for 1-1/2 hours and then rotate the pan for even cooking. Continue roasting until the meat on the drumsticks feels very soft when pressed, 1/2 to 1 hour more. You can also check that the thigh (near the joint) is 175°F to 180°F and that the stuffing is at least 165°F. Remove the goose from the oven.
Set the goose in a draft-free spot to rest for 20 to 45 minutes. If the kitchen is cool, tent the bird loosely with foil.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the 2 Tbs. reserved goose fat. Whisk in the flour and continue whisking for about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the liquid from the roasting pan and then whisk in the broth. Simmer, whisking frequently, until thickened and full-flavored, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the jelly until melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and keep warm while you carve the goose.
Serve the goose and stuffing with the gravy on the side.
To drink: Try the Juan Gil Monastrell 2006 ($16) from Jumilla, Spain. It’s zesty and spicy, with deep layers of cassis and a long finish.
Well worth the effort (and cost of a goose). My 10-year old got it in his head that we should have a Christmas goose, and I'm so pleased this is the recipe I opted to use. My husband insisted it was the best holiday meal he had ever have and both of my picky, picky kids wanted seconds - and even ate the stuffing. (They are weird, weird kids who normally do not like stuffing.) If you haven't had goose before, and I realized this was my first time, it's fantastically rich and flavorful, much more like a delicious meat roast than any kind of fowl. Next year though, I am going to steam it and make the stuffing a day ahead because I prefer a mid-afternoon feast. Also, I froze all the leftover fat and am looking forward to more goose fat roasted potatoes.
rather than the old stand bys like ham or turkey, we were craving a christmas goose this year and also wanted to try a different recipe -- this one DID NOT disappoint, and was a real crowd pleaser,the steaming step was a fantastic idea that i wish i had known of before.i will definitely make this goose again
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