The finest possible fare for a harvest or holiday dinner.
Choose a young goose of 8-10 pounds, allowing 1-¼ pounds per person. Wash and dry the goose. If you have any doubts as to the youth and tenderness of your bird, it is wise to parboil it in water for an hour before roasting. Turn the goose once if this is required.
Dry the goose and rub the skin with salt and pepper, and, if desired, a clove of garlic. Fill the cavity loosely with stuffing, and fasten with skewers or string. Prick the skin well to let the fat run off. Place the bird on a rack in a roasting pan; if you have no rack, prop the goose on two wooden spoons to prevent its sticking to the pan. Put it in a 450 degrees F oven for 20-25 minutes to brown, then pour off the fat and reduce the heat to 300 degrees F. Pour a cup of hot cider or wine over the bird and cook uncovered, allowing 20 minutes per pound for the total roasting time.
Serve the bird on a large platter garnished with glazed fruit, crabapples, spiced pears or stuffed prunes, with bunches of parsley or watercress.