“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”- Colin Powell
If this is true (and I like to think it is), my next goose will be a rockstar.
But as things stand right now, my first goose was an epic fail. A failure of BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS. A disaster worthy of federal relief funds.
And I had such high hopes. Sniff.
We acquired the victim from my sister-in-law, Shanda, and her boyfriend, Bart. Bart shot it himself last hunting season. He even processed it for us and delivered the corpse in a bread bag, wrapped in a white garbage bag. I quickly stowed it away in the freezer, waiting for the perfect moment or occasion to defrost it and elevate it to the culinary heights it surely deserved.
Just before Christmas I was perusing my sizable list of food blogs, and low and behold, I came upon a recipe for a roasted goose. "I have one of those in my freezer," I remember saying. So at some point during New Year's Day, the victim was unearthed from its frozen prison and set in the ice box to thaw.
Upon thawing and unwrapping (which, by the way, was not for the faint of heart. I've never seen so much blood in a bread bag. It was like watching a Tarantino/Rodriguez vampire movie.), I realized the bird had been skinned. Crap. I panicked and wondered how I was going to keep the meat moist if the basting mechanism nature gave it had been removed. The answer I came up with? A roasting bag. It was either that or wrapping the entire bird like a mummy in bacon. Maybe I should have gone with the latter....
I secured a large roasting bag, added the tablespoon of flour the box told me to, and set about finding companions for the goose in the bag. It was a shame to have all those goose drippings around and not put some veggies in there to soak some of it up! In the bottom of the bag (under the bird) I put onion quarters, whole mushrooms, carrots and fingerling potatoes. In the rather huge cavity of the goose, I loaded 2 halved oranges, another onion, quartered and about 8 peeled cloves of garlic. I salted the outside of the bird and basted it with melted garlic butter. I loaded it in the roasting bag, tied it off, put it in a 9x13 pyrex baking dish and slid the whole mess in a 350 degree oven. I put a thermometer in the thigh and set it for 180 (which was recommended in the recipe I found on the blog).
I guess because it was naked, it really didn't take as long to cook as I figured a bird that large would take. I pulled it 170, figuring it would coast the rest of the way while it rested. While it was resting, I made a batch of mashed potatoes to rest the pieces on. Dev came in and did the autopsy on it after it had rested about 10 minutes.
I could tell the minute he started hacking away at it that we were in trouble. It cut like a piece of buffalo hide. There were no juices running. The meat looked like overly dry roast beef.
Needless to say, it was inedible. We ate the veggies (which weren't that great, either, because they needed to roast longer).
I really think the key to my failure was tragic overcooking, and a naked, skinless goose.
If anyone has any suggestions about what I should have done, please leave a comment.