Rule #1 I've learned about making Christmas dinner: Never give your guests the option to choose. Apparently I learned the hard way when I came up with the brilliant idea to ask my brother what he wanted me to cook for Christmas dinner: turkey, duck, or goose. Naturally, he gravitated towards the one thing I have never cooked on that list.
In all honesty, I really am just yanking my brother's chain when I say that he had to make my life difficult, as I do like a good challenge in the kitchen and am always eager to try new things. Plus family always makes the best guinea pigs. I've never roasted a goose, but I thought, how much harder can it be compared to a chicken or turkey?
Our goose came frozen at just under ten pounds, which was just enough to serve six along with three other sides. After removing the wings and pricking the skin, I rubbed the goose with salt, pepper and a good dose of five spice and stuffed the inside with an onion, orange, cinnamon stick, cloves, star anise and some herbs.
The goose was placed in a baking pan on top of some vegetables, unpeeled garlic cloves, the wings and the neck—all to help add flavour to the gravy at the end. Place the goose in a preheated oven that's been cranked up high, bring it down to 350˚F, and let it roast for about 30 minutes per pound. Every half hour, I removed the fat that had been rendered out, reserving them for a later use (roast potatoes are calling my name in the future!).
While the goose was roasting in the oven, I managed to finish up the remaining dishes for dinner: a starter of roasted kabocha salad and roasted rainbow carrots. My brother made another vegetable side dish of brussel sprouts with mushrooms and fried shallots.
I'm glad we went for a goose this year. It's a nice change from your average turkey, which, after all these years, has lost a bit of its charm and excitement on me. It's absolutely delicious, so easy to make, and best of all, I know have a generous container of goose fat in my freezer. Even Santa can't give me that.
(I hear David Ort at Food with Legs also made a goose for Christmas dinner. He took his goose apart. Check out his incredible and inspiring meal here.)