Sunday, December 30, 2007

On Ways to Stuffing a Goose

n.b.: Cooking fowl at proper temperatures to insure succulence and tenderness creates an excellent environment to grow bacteria in stuffing inside the goose (Turkey, duck et al.) Better to use discardable aromatics in the cavity and make the dressing in a casserole.

An Evolution of Dressing

When I commenced to start to begin to learn (as Del would say) how to cook a goose, I followed the recipe in the Horizon Cookbook, and used this for stuffing:

Persian Cracked Wheat and Apricot Stuffing

½ lb dried apricots, pitted1 tsp dried sage
1 cup tawny port winesalt and pepper
2 cups cracked wheat bulghur)½ lb dried prunes, pitted and halved
¼ cup butter2 med onions chopped
1 /3 cup pine nuts1 cup beef broth

Soak the apricots in the port overnight. Reserve port to baste bird.Soak the cracked wheat in 4 cups of water for two hours. Drain well.Melt the butter and fry the onion and celery, add the well-drained cracked wheat, and sauté for five minutes. Season with sage, and salt and pepper to taste.Mix in prunes, pine nuts, drained apricots, and broth and simmer for 30 minutes. Makes about 6 cups, enough to stuff body cavity and neck of a 10-pound bird

-- Horizon Cookbook, 1968

This is very good.

But, always one to paint a gilt lily, I became so full of myself as to make this:

(Full of enough shit to stuff a goose)
By Martin Langeland
C 2001

This is my evolution of the Horizon Cookbook's Persian Cracked Wheat Stuffing.

A day or so before use fill a quart jar half full of dried apricots. Fill the remainder with your selection of dried fruits such as Prunes, dried cranberries, dried sweet or tart cherries and so on. Chop if you like, I leave them whole. Add a cup of tawny port, cover and turn end for end several times each day until used.

On the day, sauté a medium onion and the top of a bunch of celery — the more leaves the better thinks I — in butter or butter and olive oil until the onion softens. Add garlic, celery seed and a bit of cayenne.

Take a half cup each of cracked wheat, pearl barley, white and brown rice and add to the vegetables. Substitute grain of your choice for some or all of the above. I found this a very pleasant combination, though I am not certain anybody else who tried it agreed. Sauté the grain (two cups in all) for about five minutes. Add a quart of chicken stock. You may need to add more if the grain absorbs it. Cook about twenty minutes until the grain is cooked. Past crunchy is better than at crunchy. Add the dried fruit and port mixture.

Fill a casserole or mold with the result and bring on the goose.

Reheats just fine. Those who like consider it a fine winter breakfast without any toppings.

My problem with both came about when I discovered that dried fruits were too much sugar for me. So this year I made the following:

Dum Luk's Cherry-Hazel Nut Stuffing

Soak a cup of bulghur in 12 oz. water for one hour. Meantime sauté a finely diced sweet onion in a quarter cup of butter until translucent. Add a tablespoon or so of garlic. Salt and pepper and celery seed to taste. Add two ribs of celery finely diced. Then add the bulghur with its water and a can of chicken stock. simmer 20 minutes or so until the bulghur is cooked. Add a cup of dry roasted hazel nuts, a cup of sour pie cherries. Fill a casserole. Pour on a miniature of Frangelica, or a couple of tablespoons of tawny port, or what you will. cover and refrigerate until needed. Heat about 30 minutes or more at 350of.

Go, thou, and vary according to your taste, your cupboard and the company you keep!

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