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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Before Prudhomme's Turducken - There Was Goose Pye


Dead Duck with a Pie, Porcelain Bowl and Jar of Olives, Chardin 1764

Chef Paul Prudhomme is credited with creating turducken, a boned chicken stuffed in a boned duck stuffed in a boned turkey, all layers surrounded by forcemeat [farce], usually served at holiday times when some cooks yearn to bring something splendid to the table. But Hannah Glasse beat him to the table, as did other 18thC cooks.

Once you have fattened your holiday goose, removed its foie gras, and it hangs cooling on the meat hook in the office [cold kitchen], it’s time to think of goose pye, a corned [pickled] tongue surrounded by farce stuffed in a marinated, boned chicken, surrounded by farce, stuffed in a boned and marinated well-hung [term used to connote ternderizing] goose baked in a crust—perfect for today’s holiday meals, but a means of preserving in the past.

The spices [today's French four-spice or quatre-epice] used in the farce and in the marinating process serve to preserve the meat once it is cooked and cooled, allowing the pye to be kept in the cool room and sliced for serving as needed—time here also serves to ripen or develop the many flavors in this dish.


Goose Pye, photo from Terrines, Pâtés & Galantines. Time-Life, 1982, p. 52.

Here is Glasse's recipe for goose pye.

I highly recomend both Time-Life's Terrines [which also uses Glasse's recipe and is accompanied by marvelous step-by-step photos] and Glasse's book, also known as First Catch Your Hare. Terrines is edited by the late inimitable Richard Olney. Glasse's book served as the take off for many following books and incorporates about a hundred years of previous cooking knowledge--still a great book after two and half centuries!






   

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