Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Cooking our goose - Part Four: Well-stuffed

The goose recipe from Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" called for stuffing the goose's body cavity with prunes - prunes being a classic accompaniment to roast goose in the Alsace region of France. The prunes in turn are stuffed with a mixture of bread-crumbs and herbs and chopped cooked goose liver and fois gras - the controversial French delicacy of livers from geese that have been force-fed to increase the size and fat of their livers.

We did not choose to use fois gras. We couldn't afford it, for one thing. I figured we'd use the normal liver from our goose, and that would be enough. We got some lovely dried prunes from the Farmer's Market, and following the recipe, we soaked them in hot water for five minutes.

Our prunes had pits in them, so we tried to pit them. It was a hopeless task. The pits clung to the inside flesh, and the soaked skins were so fragile the prunes just came apart. I couldn't imagine them holding together to be stuffed.

It was a mess. And it was obvious that there was no way I could stuff these prunes with breadcrumbs and herbs.

So I changed the plan. I made a bread stuffing instead. I had some corn bread in the freezer, and a day-old baguette. I cut the bread into cubes about 1/2 inch in size.

Then I chopped some onions and celery, and melted some of that amazing goose fat in the skillet and sauted them. I chopped up some of the mangled prunes - about 1/2 cup, since they were very intense (I don't know what I'm going to do with the rest of them - I'll think of something)

I cooked the goose liver in the fat, too, and then chopped it up into bits. I stirred the sauted vegetables, the prunes and the goose liver into the mixed bread cubes and moistened it all with goose broth. Then I put it into a casserole dish with a cover, and baked it in the oven alongside the goose.

There was enough stuffing to fill a second casserole dish, which I sealed and put in the freezer. I have a whole chicken in there, too, which I can thaw and roast this week - the stuffing will go great with it.

Meanwhile, the goose - see Part Five to come.


Blondie's Journal said...

This is such a wonderful saga~~ I can't wait until tomorrow's chapter! lol! I wonder if there is a sort of prune you might have to use that holds up better. Surely there are many types of plums... but the way you scooted around it sounds marvelous and I can't wait too hear how the stuffing turns out.


Jodi Anderson said...

I'm still following along. This is so interesting. I'll eat goose vicariously through you.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I can't imagine the work involved in stuffing prunes, but I am now thinking that stewed prunes might be a nice treat on New Year's Day!