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Early American Goose

Stuffing ingredients
Jonathan Levy for NPR /

Early Americans ate goose, as they had in England. This version is adapted from Hearthside Cooking: Virginia Plantation Cuisine (Howell Press Inc. 1986) by Nancy Carter Crump. The book is used as a guide for demonstrators at historic sites that feature open-hearth cooking. The recipe is delicious.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

1 goose, 10 to 12 pounds

2 teaspoons salt

2 large onions

2 cups tart apples (such as Granny Smith), peeled and chopped

2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and finely chopped

1/2 to 2/3 cup minced, fresh sage leaves*

1 1/4 teaspoons pepper

1 1/2 tablespoons softened butter

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Rinse goose thoroughly with clean water, pat dry and rub outside and cavity of goose with salt. Prick all over with skewer or other sharp tool, taking care not to pierce the meat.

Peel, quarter and parboil onions for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool. Finely chop onion and combine with apple, egg, sage, pepper and butter. Mix well and taste for seasoning. Stuff mixture into cavity of goose. Sew cavity together with kitchen string and skewers.

Put prepared goose on rack in deep roasting pan and roast 2 to 3 hours, depending on size of bird, usually about 20 minutes per pound. Siphon off fat occasionally. If goose looks too brown, cover with aluminum foil for a time. Skin should be crispy and dark brown, but not black. Goose is done when legs move easily and juices run clear and a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 180 degrees.

*The sage is a strong flavor so use to taste.

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