Please note that this post contains photos of the plucking and drawing of a goose that some may find graphic.
I’ve often mentioned what good neighbours we have here. A week or so ago one brought over a box of plums (followed by a further carrier bag of plums) and, whilst we were chatting, I happened to mention that I like goose. A few days later, I was on the drive saying goodbye to guests when my neighbour pulled up and said he had a present for me. He duly produced a goose from the back of his jeep and cheerfully passed it to me by the neck. I had little choice but to accept the goose and stand on the drive, goose dangling from my outstretched hand, with the neighbour’s labrador happily bouncing around me (no doubt very proud of her achievement). I was a little surprised, but possibly not as surprised as my guests.
It was still warm.
I have a sneaking suspicion the this was some sort of test constructed for my neighbour’s amusement (he clearly found great entertainment in watching me attempt to catch one of the escapee hens when we first got them). I don’t think I failed, although there may have been just a flicker of mild panic.
As I’ve never had the opportunity to deal with a fully feathered dead bird before, my neighbour offered to come over the next day and give me a crash course in preparation, some photos of which I have included in a slideshow below:
As you can see, Nin was very happy to help (Ted had a very quick go at plucking too, but wasn’t as keen on touching the goose).
The prepared goose made a very lovely Michaelmas dinner served with a home-made mint and rosemary jelly (herbs from the garden and foraged apples), roast potatoes and carrots cooked in the goose fat (although there was nowhere near as much fat as one might get from a ‘domestic’ goose), a thick gravy made from the giblets and plenty of black kale sauteed with garlic.
It also yielded plenty of stock from the later simmered carcass and a stew. So all-in-all a very, very kind gift.