All The Best Recipes

Christmas Recipe Research 2020

I’m happy to be linking back to last year’s Christmas Recipe Research.

I’ve got a duck and a goose, and I’m cooking them tomorrow.

I think the Simple Recipes “How to Cook a Goose” which removes the breast is a good method, because I’m packaging things up for my parents to pick up and finish at home:

Both ducks and geese are red meat birds—meaning the breasts of both need to be served medium-rare. That’s pink, or 140-150°F for those of you with thermometers.

With my method, you roast the goose for a while, then slice off the whole breast and finish it in a pan once the legs are done. That way you still get a nice roasted flavor on the whole goose, and you get crispy skin and you get properly pink breast meat.

I can follow this same method for the duck.

I have some meyer lemons and sherry that will get used. Main thing will be that I’ll salt everything tonight.

I hadn’t really thought of stuffing. There is some panettone that is leftover from Rachael’s trifle making, that I’ll mix with some onions and dried apricots in the duck I think.

My mom is making spaetzle. I’ll figure out some veggies tomorrow :slight_smile:

Here’s the goose. I salted it the night before, then rubbed it with a meyer lemon and paprika, then sprinkled koji salt all over.

Into the oven at 350 rather than 325 because the door wouldn’t close with this big pan!

Started the gravy with necks and bits. House smelling delicious already.

Goose after 40 minutes

Yes, temperature is right where it should be - between 130 - 140.

Cut the breasts off. Doesn’t look pretty, felt like a hack job.

I flipped the goose and cooked for another 40 minutes, then cut everything apart and took all the meat off the bones.

Half for us, half for my parents.

The skin is nice and salty and crisp.


Duck was also salted over night. Ended up rubbing with sumac, crushed brown cardamom, nutmeg, ground cloves, as well as rubbing with a meyer lemon and finishing with koji salt.

Put it in at 375 / door open. This is after 1hr or so?

I was juggling stuffing, Brussels sprouts, and roast veggies at this point and ran out of steam. I knew the breasts would overcook but didn’t have time to pause and so the duck breakdown.

I flipped it so the bottom would brown, which took another 45 minutes or so plus some light broil.

Took the duck apart to share with my parents. Legs and wings were great, breast was over cooked, but everything crispy salty delicious.

Spices didn’t come through that strongly, just some floral notes from the cardamom and lemony hints from the sumac.

Paused to package everything and share with parents.

I skipped lunch other than some cooked goose pieces so we had dinner at 4pm!

Goose Breast and actual Dinner

I put a Tbsp of reserved goose fat in a pan and put the half goose breast in it. Pushed it down and kept moving around the pan.

Briefly seared meat side down — you can see how red it was.

I salted with koji salt and we sat down to eat.

This is definitely a top 5 meat that I’ve made. Extremely happy with how it turned out. Crisp and crackly skin layer, soft fat layer underneath, and light pink goose breast underneath.

Here’s the full plate.

  • Spätzle noodles made by my mom
  • Brussels sprouts sautéed with smoked pork loin and garlic, finished with lemon juice, sherry vinegar, and a bit of maple syrup
  • Stuffing with goose giblets, onions, green leek tops, zest of a meyer lemon, dried apricots, diced celery, thyme, and a citrus panettone as the bread, plus goose fat
  • roasted sweet potatoes, celery, parsnips, fennel - done in goose fat with a bit of salt and a bit of maple syrup

The sweet potatoes and parsnips were good. The celery, which I cut diagonally, ended up shriveling up. Rachael’s comment “I’m not eating dried up leaves”.

This is what was leftover AFTER Rachael and I ate. I snacked a bit later in the evening - ate the goose wing because it wouldn’t fit in the leftover container :wink:

Oh yeah. Used a stick blender to blend the stock into gravy. Balanced with red wine, sherry, and some maple syrup. I usually make a flour and oil base and use stock and get a very think gravy. This was tasty as is but obviously a little thin.

First time using the big pan with the rack. Way more even and crisp poultry cooking. Cooking with the door open isn’t great. This is a half sheet, a quarter sheet would be fine for the duck and similarly sized chickens.

Duck and goose breast can be bought separately and are obviously way less complicated and messy. And my new Sous vide should come in handy with those too.