“Prized for its rich fat, roast goose makes a wonderful alternative to roast turkey for a festive feast. With its crispy dark mahogany skin, it will transport your Christmas table back to the olden days.“
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Make the stuffing by removing the meat from the sausage casings and placing it in a bowl with the egg. Cut the chestnuts into small, even pieces, and add them to the sausage meat.
3. Peel and core the pears, then cut them into small, even pieces and add to the sausage meat along with the marjoram, breadcrumbs, and some freshly ground white pepper.
4. Remove all the fat from inside the goose and prick the skin several times all over with a fork. Place the bird in the sink and carefully pour three full kettles of boiling water over it.
5. Dry the goose with kitchen paper, then leave it for an hour or so to dry completely. This will help the skin to crisp while cooking.
6. Season the cavity of the goose with salt and pepper and stuff it with the pear and chestnut stuffing. Rub the breast and legs with two tablespoons of vegetable oil and season generously with salt and pepper.
7. Lay the carrots in the middle of a very large roasting tin and sit the bird the right way up on top of them (this stops the goose from sitting in its fat as it cooks).
8. Cover the bird and roasting pan with a large piece of foil, scrunching it up at the sides so it’s a tight fit, and place in the oven for 1 hour 30 minutes.
9. Take the goose out of the oven. Remove the foil and carefully use a baster to suck out most of the fat from the roasting dish into a bowl, then lightly baste the goose.
10. Re-cover with foil and roast for another hour. Suck the fat from the pan again and baste the bird, then increase the heat to 425°F.
11. Return the goose to the oven without any foil to brown for 30 minutes until golden, then remove it from the oven and transfer it to a large board or platter to rest in a warm place for 30 minutes.
12. Keep the roasting tin contents for making the gravy, and reserve the carrots to serve later.
13. To make the gravy, pour off all of the fat from the roasting tin (it can be used for roasting potatoes), but reserve any cooking juices from the bird. Sprinkle the sugar into the tin and stir to scrape off any tasty brown bits.
14. Add the vinegar and simmer down until practically dry, then stir in the jelly to dissolve. Add about one cup of chicken stock and bring everything to a boil. Cook, adding stock as needed, until you have a slightly thickened sauce that just coats the back of a spoon. Strain through a fine sieve into a saucepan to keep warm.
15. Serve the goose on a platter with the watercress leaves and roasted carrots with gravy and bread sauce on the side.
Originally featured in The Ultimate Holiday Dinner Party Menu (and How to Pull it Off)