Saturday, January 17, 2009

Goose Deux - Apple Chestnut Stuffing

After carving this is how much meat one goose gives. It certainly isn't a turkey. I heeded the advice of food writers and made sure to make lots of stuffing and lots of gravy to fill up my guests' plates. Many of the recipes I read also said to actually stuff the stuffing into the goose. I know people have been doing it for forever, and geese are not as prone to nasties as chickens, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. In the end, I'm glad I didn't because the stuffing wasn't completely full of goose fat so was a relatively decent foil to the greasy meat.
This recipe made 8 or 10 cups of stuffing but that turned out to be a goodly amount for the meal. It meant that we had lots to offer dinner guests that evening, and plenty of leftovers as well. Next time around I might even increase the bread cubes, add some more onion and just make a little more.

Of course, use sourdough or soaked flour bread if that is important to you. I used white bread, which is lower in phytates than whole wheat, and figured the whole meal was nutritious enough to call it good :)

Apple Chestnut Stuffing for a Goose
Serves 6-8

*7 cups cubed rosemary bread (or good quality white bread, but then add rosemary along with the other herbs)
*1 onion, diced
*3 celery ribs, chopped
*heart and liver from one goose, optional, or use chicken giblets. (I chose not to use the gizzard because it was so tough, but you might)
*1/2 cup butter
*1 tbs dried, ground sage, or 3 tbs chopped fresh sage
*1 tsp or so salt and pepper
*1 tsp dried thyme or 2 tsp fresh thyme
*1 tsp dried rosemary if you didn't use rosemary bread, or more fresh.
*2 granny smith apples, diced (recipe called for 2 cups, I just used two apples)
*1 can of chestnuts, rinsed and broken (can was probably 13 or 14 oz, or maybe 2 1/2 cups chestnuts. It was an odd sized can but the recipe could absorb considerbly more or less chestnuts depending on what you have avaliable)
*1/2 cup or so goose steaming liquid or chicken broth

Either dry the bread cubes over night or toast them in a low oven until quite dry and slightly golden.
Sautee the onions and celery in the butter until soft, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the chopped giblets, sage, thyme and salt and pepper and cook another three to five minutes or until the giblets are cooked through. Add the apple and the chestnuts and cook another 3 minutes or until the apple is just starting to get soft.
Combine the vegetables with the bread and mix thoroughly. Moisten the mixture with a little goose juice and pack into a crock pot or large casserole dish. I cooked mine in the crock pot on high for about two hours, but suspect it would take just around an hour in the oven to make sure everything is hot and the edges are starting to get a bit crispy. Some recipes used an egg to bind everything together but I found that occasional mashing and stirring of the stuffing the crock pot allowed it to bind a bit so it wasn't just bread cubes mixed with vegetables.

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