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Christmas Goose With Stuffing


1/2 cup butter
1 cup chopped onion
3 stalks celery, sliced, divided
8 cups day-old firm white bread, torn in small pieces
4 toasted cubed bread
2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided
3/4 cup water
1 large egg
1 large fresh or thawed frozen goose, about 12 to 14 pounds
1 large carrot, chopped
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup unsifted all-purpose flour

In large (8-quart) stockpot or kettle, melt butter over medium heat. Reserve 1/4 cup onion and add remaining onion to butter; sauté 5 minutes. Add celery and cook until tender-crisp. Stir in bread cubes, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper until lightly mixed; remove from heat. In cup, whisk together water and egg; stir egg mixture into bread mixture. Set bread stuffing mixture aside. Heat oven to 400°. Remove neck and giblets from goose. Remove excess fat from neck and body cavities. Rinse goose, neck, and giblets; drain well. Fill neck cavity with some stuffing. Fasten neck skin to back with a small metal skewer. Spoon remaining stuffing into body cavity and tie legs together.
Place goose, breast side up, on wire rack in shallow roasting pan. With tines of fork, pierce skin of goose all over. Insert meat thermometer into inside thigh muscle, being careful not to touch the bone, or use an instant-read thermometer while roasting goose.

Roast goose, uncovered, 1 hour. Meanwhile, in 2-quart saucepan, cook neck and giblets over medium heat in a little oil or butter until well browned, stirring occasionally. Stir reserved onion, the chopped carrot, and bay leaves into giblets; add enough water to cover. Heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 1 hour.

Reduce oven temperature to 325° and continue roasting goose 2 1/2 to 3 hours longer or until thermometer registers 180 to 185°. During roasting, spoon off accumulated fat about every 30 minutes. Transfer goose to large platter; let stand 15 minutes before carving.

Meanwhile, to prepare gravy, skim off all but about 3 tablespoons of fat from the goose drippings in the roasting pan. Strain the liquid from cooking neck, giblets, and vegetables through a large sieve into a large measuring cup or bowl. Discard the particles. Measure 3 cup liquid and set aside. If not enough, add water or chicken broth.

Into the roasting pan with the reserved fat, stir flour until well mixed. Gradually stir in reserved 3 cup liquid and cook over medium-low heat until thickened and bubbly. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Pour gravy into a small pitcher.

Remove skewer and untie the goose legs. Garnish platter with kale and fruits, if desired. Carve the goose and serve with stuffing and gravy.

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