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Traditional Roast Goose for Christmas


Traditional Roast Goose for Christmas

Crispy Roast Goose

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Serving roast goose on Christmas Eve in France is a tradition that dates back centuries. Goose is still served at the family table today in America and across Europe. Here is a simple method that leaves the skin golden and crisp while the meat is tender and moist. This is a two day process, as the duck must be refrigerated overnight for the parcooked skin to dry. Serve with a nice, fruity Pinot Noir (Recommendations from About.com).

Based on a technique from Jacques Pépin.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours, 20 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours, 50 minutes

Yield: Serves 6


  • 1 One 12-pound goose, neck and giblets reserved,visible fat removed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 ¼ cups warm water
  • 1 ½ tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch dissolved in 2 tablespoons red or white wine


Roast the Goose:

Begin at the opening at the neck end, work your fingers under the goose skin down to the thighs, snipping any fibers and sinews with kitchen scissors or a knife. Using a sharp knife, cut halfway through the wing and leg joints to help the bird cook evenly. Generously season the goose inside and out with salt and pepper.

Set the goose on a rack in a heavy roasting pan, breast side up. Add the neck, gizzard, and heart and 4 cups of the water to the pan. Cover the goose with foil and seal the foil all around the edge of the pan. Bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and steam for 45 minutes.

Remove from the heat and let cool. Transfer the rack with the goose to a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate uncovered overnight, until the skin is very dry, like parchment. Strain the pan juices and refrigerate. Bring the goose to room temperature before roasting.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, mix the honey with the Tabasco and the remaining ¼ cup of water. Return the rack to the pan and roast the goose for 1 hour, basting occasionally with the Tabasco mixture.

Carefully turn the goose breast side down. Roast for about 30 minutes longer, basting occasionally. (A thermometer inserted in the inner thigh should read 170 degrees.) Turn off the oven and let the goose cool to 160 degrees. Transfer the goose to a heatproof platter, breast side up. Return the goose to the oven and let it rest for 20 minutes.

Make the Jus:

While the goose is resting, pour off the fat in the roasting pan. Scrape the solidified fat off the refrigerated pan juices and refrigerate for another use. Add the juices to the pan and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom. Pour the juices into a small saucepan. Stir in the corn starch slurry and simmer, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Season the jus with salt and pepper and strain it into a gravy boat.

Carve the goose and pass the jus at the table.

If you can't find goose at your local market try mail order by D'Artagnan's (website).

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