Award-winning British chef Gizzi Erskine has a new collection of recipes out to see you through the holiday cooking season (and then some!) While American and British holiday fare can differ greatly, rest assured that you’re in excellent hands. This roast goose is an impressive centerpiece for any holiday or special occasion table.
I wish I was allowed to eat goose on Christmas Day but my family have vetoed it, so I make sure I cook it in the run-up to Christmas. I’ve played around with so many different recipes, but the best way is to use the Chinese crispy duck technique to ensure really crisp thin skin and pink breast meat. This involves drenching it with ROASTING hot liquor that’s infused with Asian flavors (which incidentally transfer brilliantly as Christmas flavors). You then need to dry it overnight until the skin goes really waxy.
This is the best goose recipe I’ve tried, and the gravy is a winner.
- 9 pints water
- 3 star anise
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 5 slices fresh root ginger, bruised
- 2 spring onions, split down the middle
- 5 tablespoons maltose (if you really can't find it, use honey)
- 4 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sea salt flakes
- 1 11-pound free-range goose, cleaned of its offal and excess fat
- The goose's neck and gizzards (if available)
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 tablespoon plain flour
- 3 1/2 ounces port
- 1 bay leaf
- 18 ounces fresh chicken stock
Chestnut, Apple & Prune Stuffing
- 10 ounces hot orange juice
- 3 1/2 ounces hot water
- 2 ounces Armagnac
- 3 1/2 ounces prunes
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 6 smoked streaky bacon rashers, chopped
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- A few thyme sprigs, leaves picked
- 10 1/2 ounces sausage meat (or good-quality sausages, squeezed out of their skins)
- The goose offal (liver and kidneys), roughly chopped (optional)
- A handful fresh white breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
- 7 ounces peeled vacuum-packed chestnuts, roughly chopped
- 1 large English apple, grated
- Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
For the stuffing
Pour the hot orange juice into a bowl and add the hot water, Armagnac and prunes. Leave to soak overnight. Next day, strain the prunes (discarding any excess liquid), then roughly chop and set aside.
Heat the butter in a frying pan. Add the bacon and fry for 5 minutes, until turning slightly golden. Add the onion and fry over a low-ish heat for 8 mintues, or until it has begun to soften. For the last minute of cooking, add the garlic and thyme.
Remove from the heat and put into a large mixing bowl with the sausagemeat, offal, breadcrumbs, parsley, chestnuts, apple, prunes and a good sprinkling of salt and pepper. Roll up your sleeves and get squelching it together, really giving it a good mix to make sure it's combined. Put it in a bowl and keep it in the fridge until you are ready to use it.
For the goose and gravy
Place the water, star anise, cinnamon, ginger, spring onions, maltose, soy and salt in a pan and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Prick the goose all over with a tiny needle. This takes quite a bit of time, but it’s worth it for really crispy skin, as it allows the fat to pour out of it. Place the goose in the sink and pour the boiling hot infused stock all over it (discard the stock afterwards). The idea is that the skin will tighten up. Now place on a wire rack and leave in the fridge to dry for 15 hours. The skin of the goose will feel like wax paper when it’s dry.
Now stuff the bird with your Chestnut, Apple & Prune Stuffing, then you need to weigh it.
Preheat the oven to 475°F.
Place a trivet or rack in a roasting tin and place the goose on top. Roast for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 400°F and cook for 20 minutes per kilo for medium-rare, 30 minutes per kilo for well-done.
Remove the bird from the oven and leave to rest for 30 minutes. It’s worth noting that the goose will leak tons of its fat, which is terrific to keep for roasting your potatoes, but keep an eye on it and pour away the fat as you see fit.
When the goose is resting out of the roasting tray, remove the rack or trivet if you used one and place the roasting tray on the hob over a low-ish heat. Chop the goose neck into 4 through
the joint and brown the pieces in the tray with the gizzards.
Add the onion and cook for 4 minutes, or until a little soft and golden. Now add the flour and scrape away at the bottom of the pan to lift up all the meaty bits and goosey juices. Pour in the port and whisk like crazy. It will fast become a purple gunge. Now add the bay leaf and pour in the stock slowly, whisking as you go, until combined. Now bring the gravy to the boil and reduce until the flavor is right and it’s a good pouring consistency.
Serve the goose with the gravy poured over.