The Holiday Goose

Le Creuset Technique Series with Michael Ruhlman

The Holiday Goose

In a special holiday installment of this technique series, Michael presents a classic turkey alternative – the Christmas goose – cooked in the ultimate vessel, the one and only Goose Pot. Rendering the bird in its own fat and juices produces tender, juicy meat and crispy skin all around, making it a top contender for the tastiest seasonal centerpiece. And since the cooking process produces enough stock and drippings to use long after the tree has come down, it truly is a gift that keeps on giving all year round.

The Holiday Goose
Roasted Goose

Serves 8

  • Ingredients
  • 1 (10-pound) goose
  • 4 leeks, thoroughly washed, root ends removed, cut in half widthwise, then lengthwise
  • 4 Spanish onions, cut in eighths
  • 8 large carrots, peeled and cut
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 3/4 cup Dijon mustard


Wash the goose inside and out. Remove anything stuffed in the cavity, reserving the liver if you wish. Return the neck, heart and gizzard to the cavity. Cut off the wing tips and place them in the cavity as well. Prick the goose all over with the tip of a paring knife to facilitate the rendering of the fat.

Pack the goose with as many carrots, leeks and onions as will fit. Place the goose in the goose pot, and surround with the remaining vegetables.

Pour in wine and enough water to barely cover the goose. Add peppercorns, bay leaves and tomato paste.

Set the pot over high heat and bring to a simmer, skimming off any foam that rises to the top. Simmer 5 minutes, then reduce heat to low and cook 3 hours. The water temperature should stay at about 180 F.

Remove the goose to a platter. Let it drain, and refrigerate overnight. Strain the goose stock into a pot. Allow to cool, then refrigerate overnight.

The next day, remove the fat that has risen to the top of the stock. Freeze and save for later use, reserving a bit for roasting the goose. If you have time, simmer the stock to reduce it by half.

Preheat oven to 450 F.

Spread the reserved fat on the outside of the goose to aid in browning and crisping. Sprinkle on salt. Place it in the clean goose pot, and set in the oven.

Roast, uncovered, 1 hour. If the skin is not brown and crispy, turn on the broiler. Remove the goose from the pot and allow to rest 10 minutes.

In a roasting pan or the cleaned goose pot, pour in 1 inch of stock. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low.

Remove each leg from the goose at the thigh joint, then separate the thighs from the drumsticks. Carve the meat off the leg pieces and add them to the stock. Bring up the heat so that the stock gently simmers. Cook the leg meat another 10 minutes.

Remove each side of the breast from the body. (Save the body and leg bones to make more stock. You can freeze them for later use.) Slice the breasts widthwise into quarter-inch slices. Place the slices atop the meat simmering in the stock. Turn heat to low and spoon hot stock over the breast slices. This keeps the meat warm and moist until ready to serve.

In a small pot, combine Dijon mustard with 1 1/4 cups goose stock and heat through. Serve atop the goose meat.

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