(Adapted from "The Way to Cook" by Julia Child)
A 9.5 to 11 pound young roasting goose
Juice of 1 Lemon
The neck, wing ends, heart and gizzard
1 each: large carrot, onion, and celery stalk, roughly chopped
2 to 3 cups of red wine
1/2 cup of Port wine blended with 1.5 Tbs cornstarch
Preparing the goose:
Pull all loose fat out from the cavity at the rear of the goose. Chop off the wings at just below the elbow.
Rub the goose inside and out with the lemon juice; lightly salt the inside of the cavity.
Push a long skewer through the carcass at the shoulder end, to secure the wings. Run another through the hips to secure the legs. Tie the drumstick ends in place against the tail. To help rendering the fat, prick the skin with a sharp skewer or needle in numerous places (but not so deep as to pierce the flesh) around the lower breast and legs.
Place the goose, breast up, on the rack of a roasting pan. Add an inch or two of water; bring to a boil on top of the stove, and cover the pan tightly. Reduce heat and steam for 3/4 to 1 hour, depending on the size of the goose. Check the water level occasionally, adding a little more if it has boiled off.
Chop the neck and wing ends. Simmer 2 hours in lightly salted water to cover, with the heart and gizzard. Strain, degrease, and refrigerate. It should make about 2 cups.
Heat oven to 325ºF. Remove the steamed goose from the roaster and let it cool 20 minutes or so. Pour the liquid out of the roaster (there will be several cups of goose fat, which will rise to the surface: save the fat for sautéing, or using in matzo balls (trust me). Remove the hip skewer and season the cavity with salt and pepper and a sprinkling of thyme or sage (or both). Replace the skewer. Place a double sheet of foil over the rack and lay in the goose, breast down. Strew the chopped vegetables in the pan around the goose and pour in a cup or so of wine. Renew during cooking, as needed. Cover tightly and braise 1 to 1.5 hours, depending on the size of the bird. Check occasionally to see all is well, and baste with juices.
When the legs feel almost tender if pressed, turn the goose breast up. Baste with the juices in the pan. If the bird is already brown, set the cover slightly askew. If it needs browning, remove the cover. Continue roasting another 1/2 hour, or more, basting once or twice, until the drumsticks feel quite tender when pressed. Remove the goose to a carving board, and set it in the turned off oven, leaving the door ajar.
Deglaze the roasting pan. Pour in the goose stock and Port-cornstarch mixture. Simmer. Strain into a saucepan, pressing the juices out of the vegetables that cooked with the goose. Simmer several minutes, skimming fat off the surface. Carefully correct the seasoning.
Remove the leg on the side nearest you. Remove the wings. Then cutting down your side of the length of the breastbone, remove the whole breast-half in one piece. Cut it on the slant, like a sausage, to make nice medallions about 1/4 inch thick. Repeat on the other side.
by Alex Rader
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