"That they han eten with thy stubbel goos" - Prologue to The Cook's Tale

Goce or Capon farced. Take parcill, Swynes grece, or suet of shepe, and parboyle hem in faire water and fresssh boyling broth; And then take yolkes of eyeron hard y-sodde, and hew hem smale, with the herbes and the salte; and cast therto pouder of Ginger, Peper, Canell, and salte, and Grapes in tyme of yere; And in other tyme, take oynons, and boile hem; and whan they ben yboiled ynowe with the herbes and with the suet, al thes togidre, then put all in the goos, or in the Capon; And then late him roste ynogh.

- Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books

The innocent-sounding name of this dish is actually a misnomer, for our good friend Roger Hodge the cook is much berated by Chaucer's host for preparing his goose in a manner not fit to be eaten:

"Of many a pilgrym hastow Cristes curs, for of thy percely yet they fare the wors, that they han eten with thy stubbel goos; for in thy shoppe is many a flye loos."

Thus implying that his poor stubble-fed goose has flies mixed in with the parsley stuffing! Fortunately, the flies have been left out of this particular recipe. When making the stuffing, feel free to use not only the grapes but the onions, the Summoner's favorite food, as well.

Saute the onions and parsley together in the butter until the onion softens. Mix together the grapes, egg yolks, and spices; add the butter, onions, & parsley. Mix well. Stuff the goose with this mixture and place in a roasting pan. Rub a little oil into the skin, sprinkle with salt & pepper, then roast at 400° F for 2-3 hours, until the goose is tender and has turned a deep golden brown.

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© James L. Matterer

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Book II. A Chaucerian Feast Part 1 | Part 2

Book I. A Chaucerian Cookery Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3