- 1 (10 to 12-pound) farm-raised goose
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cups chopped onions
- 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped carrots
- 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped celery
- 3 bay leaves
- 5 sprigs thyme, plus 2 teaspoons chopped thyme leaves
- 6 garlic cloves, smashed
- 4 cups dark chicken stock, chicken stock, or water
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots, plus 2 tablespoons minced
- 1 cup brandy
- 3/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries
- Apple Cider Glazed Pearl Onions, recipe follows
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
Remove the neck, giblets and liver from the goose. Rinse the goose thoroughly inside and out under cold running water. Reserve the neck and giblets separately. Pat the goose dry with paper towels and season with the kosher salt and black pepper. Place the onions, carrots and celery in a medium bowl and toss to combine. Remove 1/2 cup of the vegetable mixture and set aside. Stuff the cavity of the goose with the remaining vegetable mixture, 2 bay leaves, 4 sprigs of thyme and 4 cloves of garlic. Truss the goose.
Using a fork, prick the skin of the goose on the thighs, back, and lower breast. Place the goose on a rack in a large roasting pan. Place the goose in the oven and roast for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F, pour 1/3 cup of hot water over the breast and legs of the goose and continue to roast the goose for another 30 minutes. Open the oven door and pour another 1/3 cup of hot water over the breast and legs of the goose. Close the oven and cook the goose another 30 minutes. Pour a final 1/3 cup of hot water over the goose to help the fat render from the bird and cook the goose for a final 30 minutes. Insert an instant-read thermometer into the thigh of the goose without touching the bone and be sure that it registers at least 165 degrees F. If it does, remove the goose from the oven and allow to rest. If not, continue to roast the goose for another 30 minutes.
While the goose roasts, prepare the goose stock. Use a heavy, sharp knife to chop the goose neck into 2 or 3 pieces. Place the chopped neck and giblets in a 2-quart saucepan and sear over medium heat. Cook the necks and giblets, turning occasionally, until well caramelized, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the reserved 1/2 cup of vegetables, the remaining bay leaf, sprig of thyme, 2 cloves of garlic, and 1/4 cup sliced shallots and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are wilted and lightly caramelized, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the stock, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook the stock for 1 hour. After 1 hour, remove from the heat, strain through a fine-mesh sieve and reserve stock on the side. Discard solids. Pour the brandy over the cranberries and reserve separately.
When the goose is cooked, place it on a warmed platter, and pour off the fat that has collected in the roasting pan, being sure not to pour off the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Once most of the fat has been removed from the roasting pan, place it on the stovetop over medium heat on 2 burners. Add the minced shallots to the pan and cook for 1 minute, stirring with a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits. Add the brandy, cranberries, and thyme leaves and continue to cook until the brandy is nearly evaporated, about 1 minute. Add the reserved goose stock to the pan and reduce the heat to medium low. Continue to cook until the stock is reduced by about half and the sauce is thickened, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the sauce to a sauce boat and serve alongside the goose. Serve the pearl onions on the side.
Apple Cider Glazed Pearl Onions:
- 1 tablespoon goose fat, reserved from cooking the goose
- 2 pounds pearl onions, peeled
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups apple cider
- 1 teaspoon fresh finely chopped thyme leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Set a 12-inch saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the goose fat to the pan and, once hot, add the pearl onions. Cook the onions until caramelized, 4 to 5 minutes, swirling the pan to ensure even browning. Deglaze the pan with the apple cider vinegar and, when nearly evaporated, about 30 seconds, add the apple cider, thyme leaves and salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook the onions until tender, and the cider has reduced to a syrup-like consistency, 7 to 8 minutes. Serve alongside the goose as a side dish.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings