Roast goose is a classic holiday dish that’s fallen out of favor, eclipsed by large, inexpensive, abundant turkeys. But try goose: Its rich, flavorful dark meat pairs wonderfully with stuffing. Order a fresh goose from specialty butchers or online. Keep in mind that if your goose is larger than 9 pounds, it will need to cook a bit longer.
Special equipment: Be sure to have a metal or wooden 10- to 12-inch skewer and a 24-inch piece of butcher’s twine handy before you begin.
Game plan: As it roasts, goose renders out a lot of delicious fat. Pass the rendered fat through a fine strainer to remove impurities and use it in place of olive oil in our Rosemary and Garlic Roasted Potatoes.
This recipe was featured as part of our story on The Last Kodachrome Christmas.
- 1The night before you roast the goose, remove the contents from the cavity. Discard the giblets (heart, liver, and gizzard) and reserve the neck. Trim and discard the extra skin around the neck. Cut the wings at the joint between the flat and the drumette and remove; set the flats and wing tips aside with the reserved neck. Rub the goose all over with a generous amount of salt. Place the goose, flats and wing tips, and neck in a dish or on a baking sheet, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
- 2The next day, remove the goose from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 425°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
- 3Pat the goose dry inside and out with paper towels. Season generously with more salt and pepper inside and out. Place 5 cups of the stuffing in the cavity. (Place the remaining stuffing in a dish and refrigerate.) Close the cavity by sticking a skewer horizontally through either side of the opening. Wind a piece of butcher’s twine around each leg once and then tie the ends together. Place the goose breast-side down on a rack set in a large roasting pan. Place the neck and wing pieces in the pan.
- 4Roast until the breast is lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and, using a spoon or baster, transfer any accumulated fat from the bottom of the pan to a medium heatproof bowl.
- 5Flip the goose so that it is breast-side up and brush or baste with some of the fat. Roast for 30 minutes more. Remove from the oven, brush or baste with some of the fat, and transfer the accumulated fat in the pan to the bowl.
- 6Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Roast the goose until the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°F on an instant-read thermometer and the juices run clear, about 60 to 90 minutes more, basting every 30 minutes and transferring the accumulated fat to the bowl. (Remove the remaining stuffing from the refrigerator after the goose has been in the oven for 1 1/2 hours and let it sit at room temperature.)
- 7Transfer the goose to a cutting board and let it rest for at least 30 minutes; set the roasting pan aside. While the goose is resting, bake the remaining stuffing until golden brown on top, about 35 to 40 minutes.
- 8Remove the rack from the roasting pan. Transfer any fat in the pan to the bowl of collected fat, leaving the neck and wing pieces in the pan. Place the roasting pan across two burners over medium-high heat until the pan juices boil. Add the Madeira or port and boil, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon, until the alcohol has almost evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth and simmer until reduced by a third, about 6 minutes. Discard the neck and wings. Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh strainer into a small saucepan, add the butter, and swirl until the butter is melted and incorporated. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Transfer the sauce to a serving dish and serve with the goose and stuffing.