Cooking with William & Erica , Vol. 7: Goose Day

GOOSE DAY

Every year in my (Erica’s) hometown, people celebrate a local holiday that is now unique to Lewistown, Penna. That holiday is Goose Day, during which it is believed that if you consume roast goose, it will bring about good luck for the coming year. It is also believed that by the next Goose Day, one will be $1,000 richer.

So, because Goose Day fell on a Saturday this year, I decided to roast a goose and bring my hometown tradition to Northern Virginia.

Geese can be purchased at any grocery chain like Giant Foods, which is where I purchased my nice 10.38 lb Young Goose. William appreciated that it was raised on Schlitz Farms, N.D.

To prepare, I went to the grocery store and purchased a box of Bell’s Traditional Stuffing and the goose. I also picked up some canned cranberry sauce, some potatoes for mashing, and some canned corn niblets for sides.

I calculated per the instructions on the goose that it would take about 5 hours to fully roast the bird. I was right, except that I didn’t take into consideration that things cook somewhat faster in a gas oven, which is what we have.

I preheated the oven to 350° and cleared & wiped down a large area on my counter to use to prepare the goose for roasting.

I unwrapped the goose and removed the neck and giblets from the cavity. The goose was then thoroughly rinsed and patted dry with paper towels. The goose can then be sprinkled inside and out with salt and pepper.

Next, I prepared the stuffing according to the instructions on the box. I then stuffed about half of it into the cavity of the goose, and when it was full I sewed the skin flaps shut to “seal” the opening.

The goose was then placed on a rack which was set into a 13”x9” casserole dish. A meat thermometer was stuck deep into the thigh of the bird. I then sprinkled Thyme over the outside of the Goose.

Two large pieces of foil were then tented over the baking dish. The baking dish was placed into the oven and the timer set for 5 hours.

One nice thing about roasting a goose is that it is self-basting. It is a good idea to check the temperature of the goose after 4 hours to see how close it is to 180°. When it reaches 180°, the goose can be removed from the oven and allowed to cool for 30 minutes before carving.

Grease can be skimmed off the pan drippings and gravy made from the remaining juice, if desired.

Goose is best served with stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn, and cranberry sauce.

Enjoy!

To learn more about Goose Day, please visit the following sites:

http://www.villagehost.com/calendar/gooseday.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewistown,_Pennsylvania#Goose_Day

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