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Christmas Goose Recipe

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This recipe for Christmas Goose, by , is from Goose Night, one of the cookbooks created at FamilyCookbookProject.com. We help families or individuals create heirloom cookbook treasures.

Bill Criss
Added: Sunday, January 25, 2009


1 cup of sugar
1 1/2 - 1 3/4 cups of kosher salt
2 1/2 gallons of water
2 bay leaves torn into pieces
1 bunch of fresh thyme
1 head of garlic separated and peeled
5 whole all spice berries crushed
4 juniper berries smashed

8 to 12 lb goose (frozen works fine but for real splendor pay for a fresh free range $$$!!!)
1/4 cup of Hoisin sauce
1/4 cup of Kikkoman Soy
1/4 cup of Madeira or Sherry
1 carrot roughly chopped
1 celery stock roughly chopped
2 cups of dry red wine
Have goose stock handy for braising and basting

1/4 cup of separated pan fat
Separated pan juices
1/4 cup of cornstarch or flour
16 ounces of goose stock
Salt and pepper

8 cups of buttermilk bread croutons
4 cups of buttermilk sage cornmeal croutons
5 Granny Smith or green apples
1 lb (4 or 5 links) of mild Italian sausage
2 tbs of brandy
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp sage
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup of port
1/2 cup of goose stock
1 1/2 cups of melted unsweetened butter
1 cup of chestnuts shelled, peeled and chopped
1 1/4 cups onion chopped
1 1/4 cups celery chopped
4 tbs of chopped parsley
Salt and pepper

Goose/veal stock:
4 lbs of veal bones cut in 2 or 3 inch pieces
3 celery stalks roughly chopped
3 leeks cleaned and roughly chopped,
1 onion roughly chopped
1 carrot roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
Goose bones and parts (excluding liver)

Buttermilk Bread:
4 cups of unbleached bread flour
1 to 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk
1 tbs salt
1 tbs sugar
3 tbs melted butter
2 packages of dry yeast
1/2 cup of warm (110 degree) water

Buttermilk and sage cornbread:
1 cup of white bread flour
3/4 cup of yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 tbs sage
1 cup of buttermilk
2 eggs lightly beaten
1/4 cup sweet butter melted and cooled
1 1/2 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Veal/Goose Stock:

Add the fresh bones to a large stock pot and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for one hour. Add about a gallon of water and the vegetables. Simmer this pot about three to four hours, staining off any scum that rises to the top. Strain the stock well into a bowl using a good strainer and refrigerate. When cool scrape of the fat that has formed at the top and it is ready to use. Later when you have prepared the goose for roasting add the goose parts minus the liver, the wishbone and and the wing tips which have been cut off at the joints to the veal stock and simmer for about an hour. Strain and reserve the goose stock for the gravy.

Buttermilk Bread:

Mix the flour and salt in a mixer with a bread hook. Proof the yeast with the sugar and a half cup of 110 degree water. Have cool melted butter, yeast water and buttermilk ready to add to the flour mixture. Turn mixer with flour to low and slowly add the yeast mixture, then the butter and finally the buttermilk. It will take about a cup plus of butter milk. Add a cup first and slowly add more until you feel the flour is absorbed and will start to pull away from the bowl. Roll out unto a floured surface and knead the dough until a slight indent with the finger bounces back. Put back into a buttered bowl pushing down to mark the starting point and let rise in a warm area to twice the size. About one hour. Roll out dough and flatten to remove air bubbles and make two loaves in regular bread pans. Score the tops to prevent tearing and place in 375 degree oven for about 35 to 45 minutes or until a tap on the bottom of each loaf has that nice hollow sound.

Buttermilk Sage Cornbread

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and pour into a 9 inch square bread pan or a 13 inch rectangular baking pan. Cook for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees or until golden brown.

The Stuffing:

I stuff the goose with a combination of a dry buttermilk bread and cornbread stuffing and apple and sausage stuffing with chestnuts. Cut enough buttermilk bread into 1/2 inch squares to make eight cups and enough buttermilk sage cornbread to make eight cups. Place squares in the oven for a few days to make stale. Then toast the squares on all or two sides to make croutons. Chop one and 1/4 cups of onions and one 1/4 cups of celery and one cup of chestnuts. Cook the onions until soft and translucent in 2 cups of unsweetened butter (about 10 minutes). Add the celery and cook another ten minutes. Add salt and pepper and thyme to taste. Mix with the croutons. It is intended to be dry with a nice butter taste. If you want it moist add some goose stock. Peel,core quarter the apples cutting each quarter further into 1/4 inch slices. Mix with the juice of one or two lemons to keep them from browning. Remove the sausage meat from their casings and lightly brown in frying pan trying to make it as grainy as possible. Remove the sausage mixture with a slotted spoon into a bowl. Boil down a 1/2 cup of port with 1/2 cup of goose stock to about 2 tbs and pour over the cooked sausage. Add a cup of chopped chestnuts to the sausage port mixture and mix well. Mix mixture with a fork to break up the sausage evenly. Cook the apples in the sausage grease for about 10 minutes until the apples become slightly brown and soft. Remove the apples to a bowl and sprinkle with a mixture of 1 tps of sugar,2 tbs of brandy and 1/4 tsp of cinnamon and 1/4 tsp of sage and 1/4 tsp of salt. Mix the apples with the sausage mixture and then mix this with the bread stuffing for the completed product.

The Goose:

The goose must first be properly thawed if not fresh and/or thawed in advance by the butcher. Follow the directions for thawing on the packaging. This usually entails thawing in the fridge which can take days or thawing by setting the goose under gold running water. I think the frozen geese found in most markets serve as well as fresh geese which can be ordered either from the butcher or a catalog such as Williams Sonoma. For the price buy the frozen type.

Optional Brining:

Remove the neck and parts from the goose. Wash with cold water. Set aside for the stock. Mix the brine ingredients in one gallon or less of water and bring to a boil in a pot on the stove to mix all the ingredients. Let cool. Put turkey in double plastic bag and then in cooler. Add the cold brine mixture and more water until the turkey is completely covered. Tie the bags tightly and cover top with ice. Close cooler and brine goose outside overnight. Remove from the brine, remove any herb residue, wash again with cold water and pat very dry.

I think the following method of cooking the goose combined with a few extras like drying the skin, injecting goose stock after braising and marinating with hoisin, soy, five spice powder and sherry or brandy or Madeira is the most consistent and best way to cook the fatty goose. The first step is to prick the goose well all over, especially on the breast and upper legs, holding the skewer almost parallel with the bird so as to avoid piercing the flesh. Remove the excess fat and parts from the goose. The parts can be used to make goose stock. At this point, it is a good time to cut out the wish bone, cut the tendons and the ball joints of the wings loose from inside the goose and to cut the legs free from the hip at the ball joints in the back of the goose to cut these ball joints free for each leg. This procedure while requiring the skills of an experienced goose surgeon will make carving the very fatty goose much easier when if it is done correctly! Of course you need to sew up the holes cut in the back for each leg with twine when you truss the goose for cooking. You should also cut the end pieces of wings which can be added to the other parts when refining the veal stock into goose stock. You next separate the skin from the body of the goose. You begin at the neck end and work your fingers under the skin snipping any fibers and sinews with a knife or small scissors until you have separated the skin from each breast and as far down each thigh as you can safely separate. You cover the skin over and under with a mixture of a 1/4 cup of Sherry and a 1/4 cup each of Hoisin Sauce and 1/4 cup of Kikkoman soy and a tsp of Five Spice Powder well mixed. Then wipe the cavity of the goose with the juice of one or two cut lemons and add pepper inside the cavity. Leave the cut lemons inside the goose while it dries out overnight in the fridge. The next day re-cover the outside of the goose with a hoisin marinating mixture and marinate in the refrigerator another night so the skin dries like parchment. Once the marinating is complete, prick the goose all over once more and then put the goose on a rack in a covered braising pot big enough to hold the goose with the cover on for braising. First fill the bottom of this pot with water and steam the goose on the range top burners at medium to medium low temperature for about 60 minutes depending on the weight to remove some of the fat. When the steaming is done, the goose is removed and the fat is poured out. Let the goose rest about 20 minutes. The temperature of the goose at this point should be between 105 and 110 under the legs. Some people like to chill this water to separate the fat and save it to go with the rest of the rendered goose fat for other cooking uses. Next clean the braising pot and add the braising vegetables (roughly chopped celery, carrots and onions) and add about two cups of dry red wine for the braise. At this point the goose can be stuffed and tightly trussed, pricked all over again and then returned to the rack in the braising pot and braised breast down for about one hour to an hour and a half depending on the weight, and covered in the oven at 325 degrees. After the braising, place the goose in another braising pan. Strain the braising liquid and vegetables through a strainer into a separator pressing the vegetables to extract the last of these juices. Separate the fat and braising liquids and set aside to make the gravy. Also at this point the stuffing is removed and added to the remainder of the stuffing in an oven-proof dish and cooked to 165 degrees before serving. The temperature of the goose under the legs after braising should be around 140 degrees. Before returning the goose to the oven for the final roasting you can baste the goose with some goose stock. You can also use a baster with a needle and inject goose stock under each leg and at an angle on the top of each breast under the skin to provide moisture for this final roasting. The goose can now be returned to the oven still set at 325 degrees and roast with the cover off until the goose is golden brown and the skin somewhat crispy, about another 30 minutes or when the temperature of the breast meat reaches about 170 degrees. You can if you like broil the goose for awhile at this stage to further crisp the skin being careful not to burn or overcook the breast meat. Remove the goose to a nice serving dish or board, add garnish and make sure you take a photo of your hard work and accomplishment! Deglaze the pan with the some of the goose stock and add to the pan juices set aside earlier for the gravy. Let it sit uncovered for at least 1/2 hour before carving and serving.


I find the best way to make the gravy is to prepare the goose stock ahead of time and make sure it is reasonably concentrated and gelatinous. It is then possible to make the gravy after the first braising is done. Warm 2 cups of goose stock on the stove. Melt the separated goose fat (should have about 1/4 cup but if not add either unsweetened butter or rendered goose fat to make a 1/4 cup in a medium size pan on the stove and let the melted fat cook but not brown. Add 1/4 cup of flour and cook the roux for a minute or so and then slowly add the warmed goose stock and stir until it thickens. Add the separated pan juices including the deglazed juices from the final roasting of the goose being careful not to add too much if the goose has been brined or is otherwise salty. Set the gravy next to the goose and add the running juices to the gravy while carving for a finishing touch on the gravy.

Merry Christmas!

Number Of Servings:
Number Of Servings:
8 to 10 people
Preparation Time:
Preparation Time:
1 week




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