… six geese a laying.
Our Neolithic ancestors discovered that, rather than spending days searching for animals to kill or nests to rob, it was easier to capture them live and keep them penned by the cave. The heard or flock could be increased by having them mate.
The food supply became more regular as one could just go outside and slaughter a bird or other animal in the pen for meat or collect eggs from the fowl nesting in the enclosure.
Since geese were a common barnyard fowl in England it is natural that geese were included in the carol. Also, over time, goose became a traditional Christmas meal.
Traditional Roasted Christmas Goose
1 10-12 pound Goose
2-1/2 cups pitted cooked prunes
8 Apples peeled, cored and quartered
6 Apricots pitted and quartered
1/2 cup Pitted Dates
2 Tbl.spoons light brown sugar
1 T-spn cinnamon
1 T-spn nutmeg
1/4 T-spn Allspice
1/2 cup chopped salted cashews
1/2 cup of bread crumbs
Place all fruits in a bowl and add brown sugar and cinnamon toss and let sit for about 1 hour allowing cinnamon and sugar to infuse the fruits.
If Goose is frozen allow to thaw according to package instructions.
Clean and remove any layers of body fat from inside the cavity and openings. Remove the neck but not the neck skin, and giblets from goose.
Using a sharp paring knife, cut three or four shallow slits into both sided of the breast skin allowing for skin fat to melt and self baste the bird while cooking. Season the outside with Salt, cracked black pepper fresh ground, and poultry seasoning to taste.
Gently rub the inside of the bird with a handful of kosher or table salt, and lightly sprinkle inside cavity with poultry seasoning or sage.
Lightly fill the body cavity with your infused fruits. To close the cavity either sew or skewer it closed. Skewer the neck skin to the back of the goose and tie off the legs tying them together with butcher twine.
Pre-heat oven to 325 -F Total roasting time should be 25 minutes per pound
Using shallow roasting pan with rack place goose breast side down on pan and roast for 3 hours uncovered. At the end of 3 hours dump out the rendered fat juices. Turn Goose breast side up place giblets and neck in bottom of roasting pan, and continue roasting another 2 hours approximately. Testing for doneness, grasp the end of a leg bone and wiggle gently. Drumstick and thigh joint should move easily. Outer skin should be browned and crispy.
When cooking is completed, remove from oven and permit to rest for about 10 minutes. Remove skewers and ties. Arrange on your serving platter and arrange fruit stuffing around the goose as a garnish. You are ready to serve.
This sounds so yummy. I have never spent anytime researching this kind of cooking before and it is kind of neat to see how history has changed things for us here.
What is one of your most deep Christmas traditions? One that goes way back in the family.
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