Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Spiced Roast Goose with Dried Fruit (Page 398)

RECIPE #1278

  • Date: Tuesday, July 26, 2011 -- 2pm
  • Location: East Lansing, MI
  • Kitchen: Our House
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: B-

One Tuesday this summer I stayed home to help my special gentleman with something, so I figured I would do a little multi-tasking and also make this goose as long as I was home all day! I started by simmering some dried figs, dried apricots, and pitted prunes in water. Then I threaded some of the fruit on skewers and reserved the rest. I pricked the skin of the goose all over, then seasoned the bird inside and out with salt. I stuffed the bird with onions and the reserved fruit, then rubbed the skin with a mixture of melted butter, cracked allspice berries, and mixed cracked peppercorns. I roasted the goose on a rack in a roasting pan. I started it in a hot oven, then later lowered the oven temperature and roasted it more, basting and removing excess fat with a bulb baster ever half hour. Part way through the cooking I added the skewered fruit to the rack. I cooked the bird until the thigh registered 170 degrees, then removed the bird from the oven and let it rest for 30 minutes. I made a pan sauce using the bird drippings, shallots, Armagnac, veal demi-glace, and apricot jam. Then I carved the bird and served it with the fruit and the sauce. I was excited about this bird and it looked beautiful but it only tasted OK. The real problem was that it was overcooked. I monitored the temperature of the meat very closely, and took it out when the thigh reached 170, just as the recipe instructed. But by that point, the breast was pretty dry. I don't know what could really have been done about that. Perhaps it would have been better to take it out of the oven when the thigh read 165. The temperature would have risen to at least 170 as the bird rested, and that is a plenty safe temperature for poultry. As it was, the breast was overcooked. The skin, however, was perfectly crispy and delicious -- yum! The sauce was also pretty tasty. I liked the bit of sweetness that the jam and fruit contributed to the sauce, but I didn't find the cooked fruit terribly appetizing to eat. Overall, this goose was OK, but the next time I need to cook a goose, I will look for a different recipe.

The recipe is here.

Only 15 recipes left to go!

My special gentleman has been out of town the last few days. I don't particularly love it when he travels. When he is in town I love making dinner for the two of us, and I look forward to cooking and eating a variety of things. When he is away I lose all motivation to invest effort in what I eat. It's pathetic really. Knowing this about myself, the night before he left I made four pizzas, stocking the refrigerator and freezer with pizza slices. Last Friday on my walk home from work I stopped at a convenience store and bought a box of Cheerios. And in the six days he has been gone so far I have alternated meals of Cheerios with meals of pizza. Today, pizza for lunch, Cheerios for dinner. Besides a few meals eaten at friends' houses, that pretty much summarizes my diet for the last week. It's not so good.

Believe it or not I am actually not the most pathetic member of the household when my special gentleman is away. Michigan, our littlest kitty, takes it very hard. He wanders through the house every morning, looking for my special gentleman and crying. And at night he walks over and over across my special gentleman's side of the bed, furiously digging into the covers as though my special gentleman might be under there and he is going to dig down to find him. Indiana, our bigger kitty, doesn't mind his absence so much, but he did spend the first two days of this trip convinced that my special gentleman was in the bathroom. He would sit outside the bathroom door and cry to be let in, even though no one was inside. Crazy kitties.

Like my kitties, I miss my special gentleman a lot when he is away. He is excellent company, and nothing is as fun without him around. Plus, it seems like every time he leaves town, strange things happen. Case in point, last Thursday night. I went to bed early as I had to teach at 9am the next day. I was sound asleep at 3:30am (as I usually am!) when the doorbell rang. It was scary to wake up to the doorbell in the middle of the night, but scarier still when the next thing I heard was someone jostling the doorknob, trying to get in. My bedroom overlooks the side door to the house, so I jumped out of bed and ran to the window to see what was happening. I was quite surprised to find a drunken undergraduate on my doorstep. I opened the window and had what turned out to be quite a lengthy chat with her:

Me: Hello?
Her: Hi.
Me: What are you doing here?
Her: I just need a place to crash.
Me: Who are you?
Her: (says name)
Me: Who are you looking for?
Her: You.
Me: Whose house are you looking for?
Her: Yours. I just need a place to crash for the night. I'll take off first thing in the morning.
Me: I can't let you stay here.
Her: What? Why?
Me: I don't know you.
Her: Yeah, yeah I know the people who live here.
Me: I am the people who live here.
Her: No, I know, but I totally know people.
Me: I don't know you.
Her: Just open the door. I just need to crash.
Me: Who do you think lives here?
Her: You.
Me: You need to leave.
Her: No, just let me in. I'll leave first thing in the morning.

It went on and on like this. She told me at length about where she worked, which she somehow thought was relevant. She was very annoyed with me that I wouldn't let her in, and she wouldn't leave. Finally I found the magic words:

Me: The only people that live in this house are two professors.
Her: What? Professors? OK, I've got to go.

And just like that, she wandered off into the night. It's true that we live pretty close to campus, but we have never had a student show up at our house, and certainly not in the middle of the night. Our house is not between where the students live and anything of interest, so it's rare to even see students in our part of the neighborhood. But as soon as my special gentleman left town, I had a special middle of the night visitor! Fun times.

Thankfully no one else has showed up in the wee hours. And my special gentleman will be home soon. It's a good thing too, because today I ate the last of the pizza! Luckily, I still have some Cheerios left.


kingshearte said...

This makes me happy that the time we had something similar happen (fortunately, my hubby was home at the time), the inebriated individual in question accepted quite quickly that he did not in fact live in our house and should go somewhere else. I felt for the poor guy, though, as I wondered just how drunk one would have to be to lose track of where one lived...

Karen said...

Wow. I bet you had a hard time falling back asleep after that!

Teena said...

This woman seemed to fully understand that it wasn't her house, she just thought she knew someone inside! That made it harder to convince her that she was in the wrong place. :)

I did indeed have a hard time falling asleep after she finally left.