- 4-5½ kg fresh goose
A traditional alternative to a Christmas turkey, goose is packed with flavour, with rich,…
- 4 lemons
Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…
- 3 limes
The same shape, but smaller than…
- 1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
- small handful each of parsley sprigs, thyme and sage, plus extra for garnishing
One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…
- a little olive oil, for browning, optional
Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…
- 3 tbsp clear honey
- 1 tbsp thyme leaf
Calculate the cooking time (see tips, below). If the goose is ready-trussed, then loosen the string and pull out the legs and wings a little – this helps the bird cook better. Check the inside of the bird and remove any giblets or pads of fat. Using the tip of a sharp knife, lightly score the breast and leg skin in a criss-cross. This helps the fat to render down more quickly during roasting.
Grate the zest from the lemons and limes. Mix with 2 tsp fine sea salt, the five-spice powder and pepper to taste. Season the cavity of the goose generously with salt, then rub the citrus mix well into the skin and sprinkle some inside the cavity.
Stuff the zested fruit and the herb sprigs inside the bird and set aside for at least 15 mins. Can be done up to a day ahead and kept refrigerated.
Heat oven to 240C/fan 220C/gas 9. If you want to give the bird a nice golden skin, brown in a large frying pan (or a heavy-based roasting tin), using a couple of tbsp of oil. Holding the bird by the legs (you may like to use an oven glove), press it down on the breasts to brown.
Once browned, place the bird in the roasting tin. Drizzle with the honey and sprinkle with thyme leaves. Roast for the calculated time, turning the heat down after 10 mins to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Cover the goose with foil if it is starting to brown too much.
Every 30 mins or so, baste the bird with the pan juices, then pour off the fat through a sieve into a large heatproof bowl . You will end up with at least a litre of luscious fat – save this for the potatoes and other veg. At the end of the cooking time, leave to rest for at least 30 mins, covered loosely with foil. The bird will not go cold, but will be moist and much easier to carve.
Buying a gooseFor a tasty bird, find a supplier from the British Goose Producers Association (020 7202 4760; www.goose.cc) and order before the end of November.
How to carveGoose breasts are shallow, so take a sharp, long thin-bladed knife and angle it at about 90 degrees to the breastbone, carving from the neck end. Detach the legs, then slice off the thigh meat.
Roasting timesCook for 10 mins at 240C/fan 220C/gas 9, then reduce to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5 and cook for 20 mins per kg for medium-rare, 32 mins per kg for more well-done, plus 30 mins resting.
Save the fatPrick the skin, pour over boiling water and cook covered in foil initially to allow the fat to be released into the roasting tray. Save the fat for roasting potatoes and cook the goose uncovered for the last 30 mins or so to crisp up.