To Amuse and Delight

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Christmas Goose

Each year my husband reads aloud Dicken's A Christmas Carol to my daughters. Each year I pull out Dining with Dickens by Dicken's great-grandson, Cedric Dickens. And each year I ponder what to cook for Christmas dinner. This year like every other year I dream of that mythical Dicken's Goose. This year I actually did it. I sourced and purchased a 12 pound freshly killed free range goose. It was much bigger than I had expected. I asked people's advice and of course read many opinions online of how to roast my goose. The more I found out the more intimidated I got! Goose seemed to be a love it or hate it thing. 
My Dad gave me advice, wished me much luck and asked for a play by play of my goose preparation. He had roasted a goose ONCE. Never again he said. "It's tough, it's greasy, it's not worth it", he said. 
Dining with Dickens advised "hanging the goose in an airy place overnight" before roasting. I asked my husband for help with this step. He rigged it up with bungie cords in the garage. Am I glad that he not only supports but enters into my hair-brained schemes! 

I roasted it on Christmas Day and I think as far as gooses go it went very well. Crisp flavorful skin and juicy meat.  I made traditional accompaniments- apple sauce, cranberry sauce, wild rice with roasted chestnuts. Was is worth it? 
Well, for the experience...definitely! Though I will probably never do it again. 

What I am enjoying more than the meat is all of the broth I made from the goose's bones and the jars of fat. (which is very abundant with a goose) I heard that the quality of meat will show when you simmer the bones for broth. If the bones have a lot of impurities there will be a lot of scum at the surface to skim off. This bird produced no scum! So I am comfortable using it's fat for sauteing vegetables. A little goes a long way. I use a tablespoon for cooking 4-5 servings of veg.

Do you have any experience with goose?


  1. I appreciate making bone broth, but I'd never heard about the scum indicating impurities. Good to know!
    I love that you cooked a goose! One time we had some ladies deliver new slipcovers on Christmas Eve. They're creative, country-living, down-to-earth, and inspiring. I've always remembered when they were leaving one of them said, "I've got to get home to pluck my goose!" What a fun tie in with Dickens. But no, I've not given it a try. We'll see. . . . Here's to more fun in 2015:)

    1. Yes! Looking forward to more fun in 2015!!
      Thankfully I didn't have to pluck my goose.

  2. The hanging goos picture is hilarious!!!! So glad your meal was a success.

    1. Yeah, and creepy too. I kept reminding the girls before they went into the garage for to expect it hanging there!

  3. Yummm and what a brilliant idea. Drying out the skin is so important. I may have to try your idea. Clarice