Open-Face Chicken Pie

 I owe this recipe to a dear friend.  It is a genius and very economical idea of a great dinner when you have limited time and/or resources. You can fill this pie with vegetables, mushrooms, pretty much anything  you find in your fridge and it’s all one-dish wonder that will fill you up and delight you at the same time.  It’s very close to a quiche but still more of a pie – at least to me.

The variety I make will require the following ingredients:

1.      Chicken – about a pound, more if you have it.  If using cooked leftovers, cut them in small chunks (about half an inch) and set aside. 

2.      Mushrooms – ½ pound

3.      Onions – 2 large ones, diced

4.      Garlic – pressed, about 2 teaspoons

5.      Parsley, finely chopped

6.      Shredded cheese – 2 cups

7.      Sour cream – 2 cups

8.      Eggs – 6

9.      Puff or any kind of non-sweet pastry sheets, enough to cover 9X13 or similar baking dish.

10.   Optional – condensed mushroom soup, one can  

Spray the baking dish with non-stick baking spray and cover with your pastry sheets. Make sure that you have enough to go up the sides and a bit over so the pie has a surrounding ‘circle of crust’ – it makes for much prettier dish and keeps the filling in.  If you are using puff pastry, prick the bottom with a fork a few times, it helps keep the dough even.

Sautee the onions until golden-brown, add chicken (if raw, brown completely, if pre-cooked just toss a few times), when chicken is ready add mushrooms and cook until soft.  Drop in the garlic and parsley, salt and pepper (go easy with the salt as you will be adding cheese that has plenty of salt on its own) stir and cook another 3-5 minutes.  Turn the heat off and let cool a little.

Preheat the oven to 375F.

In a bowl, beat together eggs, sour cream and mushroom soup if adding it.  Add 1 cup of cheese and mix well. 

Put the cooled chicken and mushroom mix in the dish with the dough and spread evenly on the bottom.  Pour the egg mix over, covering everything.  Help spreading it with a spoon if necessary.  Sprinkle the remaining cup of cheese on top.  Put in the oven and bake until golden-brown, about 45 minutes depending on your oven.  Let cool 10-15 minutes before serving.  Works well with a side of green salad and a glass of chilled Riesling.  Can be easily made in individual serving dishes for a dinner party.

 

Essig Fleisch - Sour and Sweet Beef

One of the staples of Jewish cooking is the Essig Fleisch.  A type of stew cooked in red wine, low and slow, the addition of prunes or raisins with their sweetness counterpoints the dryness of the wine, creating that coveted sour and sweet balance. Each family has their own way of making it, I am sharing ours.  My mother and grandmother used the ‘eyeball everything’ method so I will try to make it more measured and precise, but bear with me on that.

For this we will need

4 lbs of beef stew or rib meat (I like using boneless short rib)

1 onion finely diced

1 bottle of dry red wine (don’t use very expensive type but it should still be drinkable)

¼ cup honey

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup flour

½ tube (about 2 oz) of tomato paste

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 cup of pitted diced prunes or sultana raisins

Bay leaf, pink peppercorns, cloves, whole allspice (a couple of each) – these I put in a tea infuser and set in the pot with the meat, otherwise one will be chasing them in the sauce and it can end up being fairly unpleasant. This way I remove them all as soon as the meat is done.

 

Cut the meat into cubes, about 1” big.  Salt and pepper them.  In a large thick-bottomed pot heat up olive oil and sear the meat. Go in small batches, you want it seared, not steamed.  Once all meat is browned, throw in the onions – in the same pot and oil.  Cook until golden, add tomato paste and cook out for a couple of minutes.  Add flour and again, let cook for two-three minutes.  At this point deglaze with wine, mix well to avoid lumps from forming, add honey, sugar, paprika and garlic powder.  Throw in your prunes or raisins. Mix well and cook for about five minutes.  Taste the sauce and adjust sugar/salt/sourness to your liking.  I usually add a few drops of Worcestershire sauce but you don’t have to. It has tanginess that I love, so if the sauce is too sweet it works well. Let the sauce simmer for about ten minutes to cook out the alcohol in the wine.  Add the meat and pop in the tea infuser with the spices. Stir once, make sure all meat is covered with the sauce and allow to cook until the meat is tender, anywhere between an hour and two hours – depending on the meat.  When done, the beef should be fork-tender, so keep checking and don’t be afraid to add cooking time if needed.  If you see the sauce becoming too thick, add a little hot water.

Serve with rice or mash potatoes 

Braised Beef Short Ribs

Braised Beef Short Ribs

8 pieces full size beef short ribs

1 bottle good red wine

2 cups freshly brewed strong coffee

2 cups to 1 quart beef stock or water

2-3 tbsp honey

2-3 tbsp  tomato paste

Salt, pepper

2-3 bay leaves

3-4 whole cloves

1 cup plain bread crumbs

1 lb sliced mushrooms (optional)

The recipe is for 8 pieces of full sized beef short ribs.  It is made stove-top so you will need a pot or covered roaster large enough to hold the ribs laid out flat – they must be in one layer, otherwise they won’t cook evenly and turn into pulled beef – something we can and will explore, but not at this particular juncture.  

This dish can me made the same day but I prefer to cook it the day before and let rest in the refrigerator for 24 hours – this allows me to remove excess fat very easily and flavors ‘marry’ better.

If the ribs come in a slab, cut them into individual pieces.  Salt and pepper liberally.  Heat some olive oil on the bottom of your roaster and sear them – best to do it in batches of four so they have enough room to brown and not steam.  Once the ribs are seared take them out and set aside on a sheet pan or board.

Sauté shallots and onions in the same oil you seared the ribs.  Once nicely caramelized add mushrooms (if you want to use mushrooms) and sauté until softened, then deglaze with wine.  Let the wine simmer for a few minutes.  Add honey, tomato paste, bay leaf, cloves, salt, and pepper and carefully whisk into wine.   Taste and adjust salt/sweetness/acidity to your preference.  Add 2 cups of stock (or water) and whisk together.  Place the ribs back into the roaster, making sure they are flat and the meaty side is on the bottom.  If the ribs are not covered with liquid, add remaining stock (water).  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours.  Test the meat, if it has not reached ‘fall off the bone’ stage cook for another 30 minutes to an hour. At this point if you are making it the day before, turn off the heat, cool off and refrigerate overnight.  If you are planning on serving the ribs the same day – then skim the fat as much as possible while they are still hot.

Remove the ribs (very carefully, the meat is extremely tender) to the serving platter.  Reduce the sauce by at least a third.  If you don’t have time to cook down the sauce you can use the bread crumbs hack – throw in a cup of plain bread crumbs, whisk them in and simmer for 10 minutes, this will thicken the sauce without altering the flavor.  Pour the sauce over the ribs.  Serve with your choice of side dish. On the photo it is served with sweet cherry rice pilaf (the recipe is available on this site under Side Dishes) and roasted peppers. 

Crown Roast of Pork

At one point in time I was searching high and low for an impressive main dish for a dinner party.  And then I saw crown roast sitting in a butcher's shop and that was it.  I had to buy it and I had to make it.  Majority of the recipes I saw were sweet and sour, with apples or other sweet additions.  I wanted something different so after reading through a number of different recipes I came up with this.

Ingredients

  • 1 16-rib crown roast of pork (8 to 11 lbs.), trimmed of excess fat
  • About 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • About 1 tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large head garlic
  • 6 to 8 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 5 tablespoons flour

Preparation

1.Blend the spices, hebs, half the garlic and olive oil in a food processor to almost pesto-like consistency. Put oven rack in center position and preheat oven to 350°. Rinse pork and pat dry. Season all over with the herb paste. Set pork in a roasting pan. Peel the rest of the garlic place in center of pork. Cover top of each bone with a small cap of foil to prevent blackening in oven. Pour 2 cups broth into pan.

2. Roast pork, basting every 30 minutes with accumulated pan drippings. (If pan begins to look dry, gradually add up to 2 cups additional broth.) Cook until a digital thermometer inserted horizontally through middle of roast into center of thickest part reads 145°, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours (see Notes), and garlic is soft (if garlic isn't soft, put it in a small ovenproof dish and cook up to another 30 minutes). Transfer pork to a carving board, tent with foil, and let rest.

3. Meanwhile, pour pan drippings into a large measuring cup; let sit until fat rises to top. Spoon off 4 tbsp. fat and reserve; discard the rest. Measure 1 cup juices (add broth if necessary to make 1 cup).

4. Set roasting pan on top of stove so it spans 2 burners. Put reserved fat in pan and whisk in flour. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking, until flour develops a nutty aroma and is deeply browned. Gradually whisk in reserved juices and 3 cups chicken broth. With a wooden spoon, scrape up any browned bits; then resume whisking until gravy is smooth. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil, whisking. Boil until gravy is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon, 3 to 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste; pour through a strainer into gravy boat.

5. Remove string from roast and foil covers from bones. Serve with roasted garlic and gravy. Carve between bones with a sharp knife.

 

Stuffed Cabbage

I have to be honest, it's a pretty labor-intensive dish but the result is so worth it! Tender cabbage cradling juicy filling, in aromatic sauce and topped with a dollop of fresh sour cream - heaven on a plate!  The flexibility of the recipe allows to substitute cabbage for peppers, zucchini or even firm tomatoes. 

You will need:

1 large head of regular or Savoy cabbage

Stuffing:

                2 lbs ground beef

                1 lb ground pork (veal or turkey will work too)

                1 cup boiled white rice

                1 carrot, shredded finely

                3 eggs (one egg per pound of ground meat)

                Finely chopped parsley

                Salt, pepper to taste

 

Sauce

                1 large onion, finely diced

                1 carrot, shredded

                1 small can (4 oz) tomato paste

                1 box or 2 cans (1 quart) of beef stock/broth

                3 tbsp flour

                1 28 oz can diced or pureed tomatoes

                Salt, pepper, bay leaf

 

Preparation

  1. Cut out the stem from the cabbage. Wrap in a wet paper towel and microwave on high in 3-minutes increments until all leaves are soft and pliable.
  2. In a large pot heat up some olive oil. Sauté onion until golden-brown, add carrot and allow to soften.  Add flour and tomato paste, mix until homogenous, adding a little broth if too thick.  Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes, and then add the rest of the broth, tomatoes, salt, pepper and parsley.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and keep on simmer until ready to use.
  3. In a large bowl combine the meats, carrot, rice, eggs, salt, pepper and parsley.  Mix well.
  4. On a chopping board spread out cabbage leaves, one at a time and cut out the hard center rib.  Cross the flaps so there are no holes.  Depending on the size of the leaf place 2-3 tablespoons of the meat mix, cover the sides and roll as you would a blintz or a spring roll.  Put on a tray or a sheet, seam down.  Repeat until you are out of meat and leaves.  There will be some small unusable cabbage leaves, do not discard them.
  5. Take a large wide pot and line the bottom with the remaining leaves.  Place the pieces of stuffed cabbage on top.  There will be more than one layer, make sure that all seams are down so the rolls don’t unravel while cooking.
  6. When all pieces are in the pot pour the hot sauce over and set to cook on a medium flame.  Bring to a boil and allow to boil for 2-3 minutes, then reduce heat to simmer and cook for another 45 min to an hour depending on the size of the pieces.  Serve with sour cream and a sprinkle of fresh parsley on top.

If you would prefer to use peppers all you need to do is prep the peppers instead of the cabbage - cut off the top and stem, set aside, using a paring knife remove the seeds and ribs and stuff the pepper with the prepared mix. Cook the same way as described above. 

Plov

There are millions of traditonal plov recipes. Every cook will tell you theirs is the only right one. I love them all and enjoy them all.  I came up with this one after struggling with mushi rice for ages. 

You will need 10-12 pieces of veal short ribs or lamb ribs (more if you like more meat-to-rice ratio), 3-4 large carrots, julienned (I used julienne peeler), 2 large onions, thinly sliced (cut in half and then slice up each half), 6-7 cloves of garlic, 2 cups extra-long Basmati rice (Indian is the best), 1 cup + 4 cups of boiling water, oil for sautéing, kazan or deep dutch oven and a large frying pan. I used cumin, cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt, turmeric and sumac for this dish but feel free to sub/change to your liking.

In the kazan/dutch oven heat up oil and sear the meat (salt and pepper it before), take out and set aside. In the same oil sauté onions and carrots until soft, put the meat back in, add the spices, garlic (whole cloves) and a cup of hot water and cook on low to medium heat until the meat is soft. In the meantime (and this is my big cheat) heat up few tablespoons of oil on a frying pan and toast the rice -- dry, no soaking, no rinsing, as it is. Make sure it is coated in oil and toast it until it is pale golden. This will prevent rice from falling apart and sticking together. My mom learnt this from Uzbeki woman in Kokand when they were evacuated there during the war. Haven't seen it in any books or official recipes but that's how mom always made it. Add the rice to the meat, and cover with boiling or very hot water. Mix 2-3 tablespoons of salt into the hot water - rice takes up a lot of salt and this will help with flavoring it. Stir once and bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for an hour, covered. Enjoy!

 

Roasted Ducks In Pomegranate Glaze

This is one of my favorite holiday or dinner party dishes. Super simple to make and always very impressive. 

 

Roasted ducks with apples and apricots in pomegranate glaze

*Note – this also works very well with just duck legs. 

Two ducks, cleaned and quartered

½ cup grape seed or walnut oil, 2 tbsp of sweet paprika, ¼ cup of pomegranate concentrate, 1 teaspoon garlic, 1 tsp salt mixed together.  

*Note 2 - if you can't find the pomegranate concentrate, you can use pomegranate juice - just reduce it by half first, you will need a half a cup of the reduction. 

4 large Granny Smith apples (cored and sliced), 4 large oranges, sliced and 1 cup dried apricots (more if you like, or mixed with prunes)

 

Clean, torch and scrub ducks with rock salt, rinse, dry and cut up in quarters (use breasts and legs, remove the ribs and spines).  Toss the quarters with the prepared marinade, let sit for half an hour in the refrigerator. You can marinade them overnight as well, it will just intensify the flavors.  Layer the bottom of the roasting pan with thickly sliced oranges, then lay prepared quarters skin up, scatter the apricots and apples on top.  Pour the remaining marinade over the duck and fruit.

Heat oven to 375 F and roast the ducks uncovered for about an hour and a half, checking for tenderness and basting with juices from the bottom of the pan.  Remove from the pan, lay out on a large platter with apple slices and serve.  Sweet rice or roasted potatoes make good side dish.  

Walnut Crusted Rack of Lamb

This recipe has a very interesting story attached to it.  When I made it for a party for the first time, one of the guests gushed over how good it was - and then asked, "So, where did you order it from?" After I got over a second of righteous indignation I realized that this was the best compliment she could have given me - in her mind, because it was so good, it could only be catered... 

I can't even recall how I came up with this particular dish.  I wanted to learn how to cook a rack of lamb and I wanted it to be special, so I was surfing the net for a good recipe that 'spoke' to me and I came across a suggestion of a walnut crust - and the rest is history.  I chose the herbs that my husband likes and the walnuts - well, I'd put walnuts into everything if I could.  So take a look, try it out and enjoy - it's super easy and just as impressive - I guarantee your guests and loved ones will be impressed!  

A note - I've made this with a small racks of Australan and New Zealand lamb, if you are using larger sized cuts you wil need to adjust cooking time by about 10 minutes. 

2 racks of lamb (French boned)
2 tablespoon vegetable oil for searing the racks 
Salt
Ground white pepper
2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
1 cup whole walnuts
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 egg 
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 cloves minced garlic

 

Serves 6

 

To prepare the racks of lamb: Heat the vegetable oil in a sauté pan over high heat. Season the racks of lamb with salt and pepper. Sear the racks on all sides until nicely browned. Remove racks to a platter and allow to cool enough to handle. At this point preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

To make the walnut crust: Put fresh chopped parsley into a food processor and pulse several times to grind, if you don't do this the parsley pieces will be too large. Add walnuts, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper, and garlic powder. Pulse several times until mixture is the consistency of bread crumbs. Pour mixture onto a large dinner plate or a platter.

To make the mustard mixture: In a dish combine the egg, mustard and 2 cloves of minced garlic. Mix well with a fork until egg and mustard are completely incorporated.

To coat the racks of lamb: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Once the racks are cool enough to handle, place 1 rack in the mustard mixture and coat all sides. Next place the coated rack into the walnut mixture and coat well. Using your hand press the walnut mixture firmly onto the coated rack. Transfer rack to the baking sheet. Repeat steps for each rack. You can make the recipe to this point and place in refrigerator until ready to cook.

To cook: Place the racks of lamb into the oven and roast for 20 minutes at 400F for medium rare. Use a temperature probe in one of the racks, and remove meat from oven when it registers between 125 to 130 degrees F. Keep 5 - 10 minutes longer for well done. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting.

Check out the Side Dishes section for some ideas on what to serve with this awesome meat - I would recommend grilled vegetables or garlic mash potatoes. 

 

 

Stuffed Chicken Croquettes

This was one of my mom's favorite holiday table recipes and we always waited for any 'ugly' or 'broken' ones to have immediately. She called them Dynamo - not sure why, the shape or something else that got lost in time but that's what they were - Dynamo cutlets.  Mom pan-fried them, but I prefer the oven method - less hussle, you don't have to stand over hot pan to watch and flip them, plus they all come out even and very pretty.  Contrary to popular belief, oven does not dry the croquettes out, especially if they are coated in breadcrumbs - that crunchy layer preserves the inner moisture.  This recipe calls for chicken breast, but if you have skinless boneless thighs it works just as well if not better.  If you are really concerned about possible dryness, drop a tablespoon of mayo in the ground meat.  In fact, you can replace eggs with mayo completely - about 2 tablespoons of mayo per each egg.  Good to know if you run out of eggs unexpectedly (this happens to yours truly fairly often as both my son and my husband are egg fiends). 

 

For the croquettes:

 

2 skinless boneless chicken breasts

1 cup of plain bread crumbs (homemade are the best – collect stale bread and pulse through food processor until pulverized) and more for shaping the croquettes

2 medium onions

3 eggs

Bread crumbs or flour

Salt and pepper to taste

Dill and parsley (optional)

 

For the stuffing:

 

4 eggs, hard boiled and grated (use large-hole grater, egg slicer makes pieces too big)

1 large or 2 small onions, diced and caramelized (preferably in butter)

Salt, pepper to taste.

If you want more creaminess to the stuffing you can add a tablespoon of mayo or sour cream. Variations on the stuffing can include sautéed chicken livers or mushrooms.  You can also substitute fried onions with green onions or chives and add any kind of herbs you like – the possibilities are endless.

 

Directions: 

Chop and sauté the onion until golden-brown.   Cube the chicken breast and put through a meat grinder together with the onions.  Add 3 eggs, bread crumbs, salt and pepper, finely chopped dill and parsley if you want  and mix well.  The mixture should be fairly thick, so you can stuff it and shape it (think meatballs).

 

Line a baking sheet (use the one with sides, like jelly roll pan) with parchment paper.

 

Put a good handful of bread crumbs on a board and spread in an even layer.  Using ice cream scoop (the spring variety) measure out the chicken mixture (this allows for uniform size of the croquettes) and spread out in the crumbs.  Place a tablespoon of stuffing in the middle of the resulting patty and close the edges around it – like you would for a filled pastry (pirozhok).  The resulting shape is reminiscent of a cigar or a submarine.  Roll well in the crumbs so it’s fully coated on all sides. Repeat with remaining mixture and stuffing. 

 

Bake in a pre-heated to 350F oven until golden-brown.  Timing can vary based on your oven and altitude, so start checking after 30 minutes.  Usually takes between 45 minutes to an hour. 

 

Serve with any side dish you like and enjoy!

Coffee Braised BBQ Brisket

Coffee Brisket

You will need:

Deep baking dish

3-4 pound brisket (serves 4)

2 cups good BBQ sauce (your choice, I tend to go to Sweet Baby Ray’s because it’s pretty bland so I can play with spices, or you can make your own)

2-3 cups freshly brewed coffee

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

2 tbsp Sriracha (optional, but it gives amazing flavor without too much heat)

2-3 tbsp instant coffee or instant espresso powder

Salt, pepper, garlic, paprika, cumin, chili powder, ginger powder

 

Preparation

  1. Mix dry spices (I purposely do not give proportions as everyone has their own preferences), set aside
  2. Mix BBQ sauce, coffee, Sriracha and Worcestershire sauce, set aside.
  3. Next step you can do two ways – either use the spice mix as a dry marinade, rub it into the meat and let it sit for a few hours/overnight and sear the spiced meat before roasting, or you can sear the meat, let it cool and then rub well with spices. Either way works depending on how much time you have
  4. Place the seared/spiced meat into a deep baking dish and cover with the BBQ sauce braising mix you prepared earlier.  Cover the dish (if it doesn’t have its own cover use heavy-duty aluminum foil, doubled up. 
  5. Roast for 3 hours at 325F
  6. My recommendation is to prepare the brisket to this point the day before.  That will allow the flavors to marry and it’s much easier to remove any unwanted fat once it’s chilled in the refrigerator.  So once you have done that, take the brisket out, cut across the grain (much easier to do when it’s cold), put back in the baking dish with the sauce and re-heat in 300F oven for 30 minutes or until you see the sauce bubbling.  No need to cover this time, unless to protect your oven.  Remove from the oven, place on the serving dish or individual plates, spoon the sauce over and serve.  Works well with cheesy mash potatoes or Farina grits.

Enjoy! 

Buckwheat Meatballs In Mushroom Sauce

Buckwheat is a forgotten grain - unfortunately.  It's gluten-free, a great source of multiple vitamins and minerals including iron and overall good for you. Traditionally widely used in both Jewish and Ukrainian cooking, it's mainly utilized as a side dish, but I wanted to incorporate it into the main course - and came up with these. 

Buckwheat Meatballs with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Ingredients:

For the meatballs

2 pounds of meatball mix or ground meat of your choice

1 cup cooked buckwheat

2 eggs

Salt, pepper to taste

Breadcrumbs for rolling

 

For the sauce

1 large onion, sliced or diced

1 pound sliced mushrooms (white, Bella, or wild -- whatever is available to you)

¼ cup buckwheat flour

2 cups sour cream

1 cup milk                                                                                                           

Salt, pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven to 375F.  Mix the meatball ingredients, form medium sized balls (about 1 ½ inch or so), roll in plain bread crumbs and place in the baking dish.  Cook for about 30-40 minutes, depending on the type of meat you are using.

In the meantime, heat up few tablespoons of olive oil in the deep skillet or pan.  Saute onion until golden-brown, and then add mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook until mushrooms are soft, about 15 minutes. At this time add buckwheat flour.  Stir and cook for about 5 minutes, the mix will become quite thick so keep stirring.  Add sour cream and milk, mix well, cover and simmer for another 20 minutes.  Take the meatballs out of the oven and put them in a large Dutch oven or any other large but not very deep pot. Cover them with the sauce, carefully move them around with a wooden spoon or a spatula to make sure they are evenly distributed and covered with the sauce.  Add a bit of milk if there is not enough sauce.  Cover the pot and simmer for another 15-20 minutes.  Serve with noodles, noodle kugel (as shown) or mash potatoes. 

 

Roasted Goose

Roasted Goose

I honestly don’t know where did I get the idea to make a roasted goose for the winter holidays – I guess reading too many Russian classics in my formative years left subconscious notion of having a goose for Christmas dinner – never mind that I am Jewish and live in USA. But once I get something in my head it’s very tough to make me stop thinking about it and so I went out and bought a whole goose to roast.  We were getting together with friends at our house to celebrate New Year’s Eve (still a very big holiday for us and all our former compatriots) and this was to be the main dish.  So naturally I couldn’t afford to mess it up.  I’ve gone through multiple web sites (apparently there aren’t that many goose aficionados around here) and my numerous cook books and I came up with a very good recipe.  Beauty of it is that it can be made in advance to a certain point and then just finished off without much fuss.

So, without further ado, here’s my take on a very old and classic dish.

You will need

1 whole goose, fresh or fully thawed

½ cup honey

2 tablespoons paprika

Salt, pepper to taste

½ stick of butter, softened

3-4 apples, cored and quartered

1 orange, cut in 8 pieces

1 cup dried apricots

1 cup dried prunes

Any dried berries you like

 

Preheat the oven to 400F. Wash and dry the bird. Rub with salt and pepper, prick the skin (you can use a fork, tip of the knife or spikes on a meat tenderizer) all over, breast, legs and back.  Place it on the roasting rack and cook for 45 minutes to an hour to render out the excess fat.  Remove from the oven and let cook.  I do not recommend discarding the fat, you can strain it and preserve it for cooking and/or baking - goose fat is awesome.  You can prep the bird to that point a day ahead. 

Once the goose has cooled down, stuff it with apples, oranges and dried fruit.  Mix salt, pepper, paprika honey and butter and rub on the skin.  Place the bird back on the roasting rack and roast in a preheated to 350F oven, basting occasionally. The cooking time is calculated at 15 minutes per pound minus 45 minutes – so for example, if you have a 15-pound goose you will cook it for 3 hours total (15 minutes times 15 pounds will give you 225 minutes, subtract 45 and you have 180 minutes or 3 hours).  Unlike chicken or turkey goose and duck can be served medium or even rare, but that depends on your preference.

Always use meat thermometer to confirm doneness and let the goose rest at least 15-20 minutes before carving.