Recipe: Christmas Goose

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Photo: Holly A. Heyser

Many people have fond associations of traditional Christmas Goose. So why do so few of us make it?

For starters, offers Duck, Duck, Goose author Hank Shaw, geese are expensive.  Prepare to spend $50-$70 on a frozen bird, and more for a fresh one.

Part of the reason geese cost so much is that they’re strictly seasonal. They lay eggs just once a year, and you can only find a high-quality goose between late September and January.

We’re unfamiliar with buying geese because they’re usually unavailable, and when we do pick one up, we’re often scared of ruining our investment.

But do not fear, because if you’d like to give Christmas Goose a try, Shaw has perfected a cooking method that accounts for the other reason geese have a bad rap in the kitchen – the pesky risk your bird will become stringy and overcooked.

Shaw explains that whole geese often emerge from the oven unevenly roasted because geese breast meat needs to reach a different temperature than the legs and wings. Shaw gets around this by roasting the entire bird to start, but finishing the breast in a sauté pan on the stove.

And the result, says Shaw? A crispy breast, perfectly done legs and wings, and, if you’re so inclined, root vegetables seared in goose fat.

Merry Christmas.