Both sweet and savory, this gravy, from one of the great kitchens in New Orleans, adds a lavish touch to the holiday table. A robust gravy, it absolutely rocks the deep rich flavor of smoked (or, for that matter, roast) goose
The recipe calls for either goose or chicken broth, but, lets face it, making goose broth is a challenge – you need a goose, or at least goose parts. Chicken broth won’t give the flavor of the gravy quite as much depth, but it can serve as a delicious base nonetheless. If you melt butter rather than use the fowl drippings, then, along with using chicken broth, the entire gravy can be made a day or two in advance. That allows the flavors to mingle and frees up time for other cooking.
The gravy can be finished over a fire; if so, you'll need 1/2 cup pecan chips.
Make Ahead: The goose or chicken broth can be made a couple of days in advance and refrigerated, or frozen for up to 3 months.
Servings: 4 cups
- 2 17-ounce jars whole figs in heavy syrup
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup drippings from roasted fowl (see related recipe; may substitute 4 tablespoons unsalted butter)
- 1 1/4 cups finely chopped onion
- 1 cup finely chopped celery
- 1/2 cup finely chopped green bell peppers
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 4 1/2 cups hot goose broth or chicken broth
- 1/2 orange, peeled, seeded and cut into thin slices
- 1/2 cup pecan chips (optional)
Drain the syrup from the figs; reserve separately.
Combine the fig syrup and sugar in a large pan (not cast-iron), mixing well. Cook over high heat until mixture caramelizes, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Place the fowl drippings (or melt the butter) in a 1-quart saucepan. Add 3/4 cup of the onions, 1/2 cup of the celery, the bell peppers and seasonings; cook over medium-high heat until vegetables start to wilt, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir the vegetable mixture into the caramelized fig sauce and add 2 cups of the broth, stirring well. Increase the heat to high and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the orange slices; cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1 cup of the broth and remaining 1/2 cup each of onions and celery; cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
Strain the contents of the pan, reserving the liquid in the pan. Transfer the strained solids to the bowl of a food processor or to a blender; puree until smooth, stopping once to scrape down the sides.
Stir the pureed mixture into the strained liquid. Cook over high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until mixture starts to thicken, then stir in the figs (drain them again if necessary) and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring gently so as not to break up the figs.
Stir in the remaining 1 1/2 cups of broth; at this point, you can transfer it to the grill used to smoke the goose and finish the sauce there, to give it a smoky flavor. On the stove: Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium or medium-low and cook for about 18 minutes, stirring occasionally, so the mixture reduces and forms a sauce.
After bringing the sauce to a boil, you may finish cooking it on the grill while the smoked goose is resting. If using a charcoal grill, add the 1/2 cup of (unsoaked) pecan chips directly onto the embers. If using a gas grill, wrap them in aluminum foil punctured with a few fork holes on top to release smoke or put them into a smoker box, and place the pouch or box close between the grate and briquettes, close to the flame. Cook over a low to medium direct fire.
Remove from the heat. Transfer to a gravy boat or bowl and serve immediately alongside the smoked goose.
Adapted from "Chef Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen" (William Morrow, 1984).
Tested by Jim Shahin .
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