Forget your fear of flabby, greasy goose! This do-ahead method produces a succulent, flavorful bird with crispy skin. After poaching, only a half-hour of high-heat roasting is needed before serving. It’s a classic and perfect centerpiece for a Christmas meal and should serve six.
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 (optional)
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 pepper to taste
- Remove giblets and neck from cavity, pull off any loose fat, and cut off first 2 wing joints, if still attached, and reserve. Wash goose, tie legs together, pick bird 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 (or use later). Add giblets, wing pieces, neck, and vegetables to pan. Sauté until vegetables are browned, about 7 to 8 minutes, turning frequently. Sprinkle on flour, adjust heat to medium, and continue cooking until flour is lightly browned, 6 to 7 minutes, 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 two-thirds, 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. (A pair of rubber gloves is an easy way to do this.) Poach goose a total of 2 to 3 hours, or until meat is tender when pierced with a fork. Turn off heat and finish immediately, later in the day, or the next day.
- 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 minutes. Take out of oven, and allow to stand for about 5 to 20 minutes.
- 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 until needed.
- 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 minutes while preheating oven. Proceed with recipe as above.
This luxurious Alsatian-style goose is stuffed with ground veal and pork, and foie gras. It is the perfect main course to serve for dinner on Christmas Eve. And in true Alsatian style, is served on a bed of cabbage.
For the cabbage:
1 large head red cabbage
1 cup red wine
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons rendered goose or duck fat
1 medium onion, sliced
2 apples, peeled, cored, and diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon red gooseberry jam or red currant jelly
For the goose:
1 pound ready-to-use chestnuts
½ pound sliced white bread
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large shallot, chopped
½ pound each pork shoulder and veal shoulder
2 teaspoons ruby port
1 teaspoon Cognac
2 teaspoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
½ teaspoon quarter epices, or 1/8 teaspoon each ground cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and black pepper
1 goose, 8 to 10 pounds, 2 wing joints, giblets, neck, and excess fat and skin removed, skin pricked
1 Grade A foie gras, about 1 pound, cleaned
1 each onion and carrot, coarsely chopped
1 cup Alsace Riesling wine
½ cup cold water
- For the cabbage: Remove and discard any damaged cabbage leaves. Core and quarter cabbage, then cut into ¼-inch shreds. Combine wine, vinegar, and bay leaf in a bowl.
- Heat goose fat in a large, deep casserole over medium-high heat. Stir in onion and sauté until lightly browned, 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cabbage, apples, and wine-vinegar mixture, and season with salt and pepper. Cover, and cook slowly for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Just before serving, stir in jam or jelly.
- For the goose: Soak bread in milk. Heat the 1 teaspoon butter in a small skillet over medium heat, add shallots, cover, and sweat until tender, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Squeeze milk from bread. Combine bread, pork, and veal in a food processor, and pulse until chopped medium fine. Do not over process. Scrape mixture into a bowl, and add shallots, chestnuts, port, Cognac, parsley, quatre epices, and salt and pepper, and mix just to blend.
- Season inside of goose cavity with salt and pepper. Gently pack stuffing into goose, placing foie gras in the center of the stuffing. Truss goose with butcher’s twine, season outside with salt and pepper, and place on a rack in a roasting pan large enough to hold it comfortably. Melt the remaining 2 teaspoons of butter, and brush over goose.
- Turn goose on its side and roast for 1 hour. Turn bird to other side and roast another hour. While goose is roasting, prepare Braised Red Cabbage.
- After goose has roasted 2 hours, scatter onion and carrot in roasting pan, and turn bird on its back, breast up. Roast for 30 minutes longer, basting with pan juices two or three times. Goose should be golden brown, and juices should run pale pink when bird is deeply pricked in the breast. Remove goose from pan to a warm platter, tent with foil, and keep warm. Discard all fat from roasting pan and set pan on top of stove. Pour in wine and over medium-high heat, deglaze pan, stirring up all browned cooking bits. Reduce liquid to a glaze, then stir in the cold water and simmer for 5 minutes. Strain sauce and keep warm.
- Present whole roasted goose on the red cabbage. Slice at the table, and serve with stuffing and sauce.