Nevermind that chicken up there. This is about stuffing. I love stuffing. And I like it, if you'll pardon my bluntness, stuffed. In the bird.
Because that is where it belongs.
Seriously, forget about that chicken. It was just the point of departure. I am roasting a goose this Thanskgiving (and no, I did not knock it on the head in Prospect Park, though I have been seriously tempted), and this stuffing is what will be inside it (what was in the chicken? - you ask - I can't tell. It is in the book. Next fall).
And I can't show you the goose yet, because my goose is not cooked (ha!). In fact, it is defrosting on the chilly terrace, as I type.
Stuffing for a Young Goose or Medium Turkey
4 strips bacon or pancetta, snipped into ribbons
1 apple or quince (the latter is preferable, but one can't always snag one), seeded and cubed
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium-large onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups breadcrumbs
1 cup cooked wild rice
1/2 cup chopped, cooked chestnts, chopped roughly
6 sprigs thyme, leaves stripped from branches
1 small bunch parsley, choppped finely
6 leaves sage, chopped
Saute the bacon in a hot pan over medium-high heat till the fat starts to run and sizzle. Remove the bacon, leaving its fat in the pan, and add the apple, or quince, over which you must squeeze the juice of one whole lemon. Cook the fruit until the edges take on a deep golden colour. Remove the apple or quince and reserve.
Now add the oil to the pan. Tip in the onion and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes until translucent. Return the bacon and apple or quince to the pan with the onion, stirring well. Add the bread crumbs, rice and chestnuts, stirring again. season with salt and pepper. Add the chopped herbs. Taste. Adjust seasoning.
The cavity of the bird should have been rinsed and patted dry and moistened with lemon juice. Push the stuffing gently into the cavity - don't pack it too tightly.
Roast as you know best. For a heavy goose I roast for three hours: two hours in moist heat at 400'F, and then one with the lid removed to brown and crisp up.
I carve the bird and arrange all the pieces on a large plate, with the stuffing piled in the middle, and the pan juices in small bowl or jug alongside.