“My recipe for roast goose results in a succulent, flavorful bird with crispy skin. By poaching 1st, the goose requires only 30mins at high heat in the oven”— Paul Ebeling
A well cooked bird has succulent, tender, dark meat that is rich tasting, but free of fat. A fine roasted goose can be a feast for King and peasant alike, suggested the French writer Honoré de Balzac. History bears that out. But for all the colorful tales throughout history, goose seems to elicit scowls or shrugs of frustration from home cooks. Their perception is of a fatty bird with a large frame and poor ratio of meat that is hard to cook properly. Read on to see how easy cooking a goose can be.
Roast Christmas Goose (serves up to 6, 2 if you only eat the breast)
- One 9 to 11lb goose
- 3 tablespoons rendered goose fat
- 1½ cups each coarsely chopped carrots, onions, and celery
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups dry white wine
- 4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
- Peelings from 1 green apple
- 6 cloves
- 1 large bay leaf
- 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, soaked, cleaned, and coarsely chopped, liquid strained and reserved
- ½ cup dried cherries
- 2 tablespoons Armagnac
- 1 tablespoon red currant jelly
- Salt and freshly ground black Java pepper to taste
- Remove giblets and neck from cavity, pull off any loose fat, and cut off 1st 2 wing joints, if still attached, and reserve. Wash goose, tie legs together, with a fork, prick the goose all over, and set aside.
- Put goose fat in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, and render about 3 tablespoons of fat. Remove and discard remaining fat . Add giblets, wing pieces, neck, and vegetables to pan. Sauté until vegetables are browned, about 7 to 8 mins, turning frequently. Sprinkle on flour, adjust heat to medium, and continue cooking until flour is lightly browned, 6 to 7 mins, stirring often.
- Pour chicken stock and white wine into a covered roasting dish large enough to hold the goose, and bring to a boil. Add goose, breast side down, pieces of browned goose, and vegetables, parsley, apple peelings, cloves, and bay leaf. Pour in enough water to cover goose by about 2/3rds, and bring to a simmer. Whisk a cup of this liquid into the sauté pan, then scrape the thickened liquid back into the roasting pan.
- Cover pan and cook very gently, regulating heat, if necessary, to keep it just simmering.
- After an hour, turn goose over, being careful not to break the skin. Poach goose a total of 2 to 3 hrs, or until meat is tender when pierced with a fork. Turn off heat and finish immediately.
- Recipe may be done ahead to this point.
- To finish immediately, preheat oven to 450° F.
- Remove goose from liquid, drain, and place on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Roast until skin is brown and crispy, about 30 mins. Take out of oven, and allow to stand for about 5 to 20 mins.
- Meanwhile, skim grease from pan liquid and strain to remove pieces of goose, vegetables, and seasonings. Discard pieces of goose and seasonings. Purée vegetables in a blender or food processor, and add back to pan. Boil quickly to reduce liquid by about half.
- Add porcini and soaking liquid, cherries, Armagnac, and red currant jelly. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and keep warm.
- To finish later or the next day, cover pan and set in refrigerator. When ready, remove layer of fat from liquid. Lift out goose and bring liquid to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer, then reheat goose in stock for about 10 mins while preheating oven. Proceed with recipe as above.