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Uh oh - have to cook duck and goose

8 months ago

I’m in Berkeley for Thanksgiving and was expecting to twiddle over to our friends’ house and be fed. No, we weren’t going to show up empty handed, SWMBO plans to make some pies and I was going to bring a side, but basically we’d eat other people’s cooking and not slave away in the kitchen.

So imagine my consternation at receiving this text: E____ is bringing over a duck and two snow geese, can you cook them? E____ will have hunted these himself. I can only hope he’s cleaned and plucked them, and picked out the shot or daggers or crossbow bolts or whatever he used to snatch the birds from the sky. But getting to the point: what am I going to do?

I’ve cooked duck recently enough, either Beijing or confit, and I have a fun-ish idea for this one. I would like to debone it, coat with cracked peppercorn, sear skin down in hot oil, then roast, and serve wrapped around a chestnut stuffing. I have no idea if that will work but it sounds fun.

The geese, though, intimidate me. I haven’t cooked a goose in decades. I vaguely recall that you have to do something special lest rivers of molten goose fat erupt from the oven and burn your house down. We’re house and dog-sitting for friends who are in Hawaii, and they will probably prefer their house to not be burned down.

Advice? Recipes? Or should I politely decline the invitation to do work?

John HU-again Liu

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