Christmas dinner is different for every family, for us it is all about the food. Each year we gather close friends and family to celebrate each other over a delicious feast and great wine. Our pièce de resistance this year was a beautiful goose. Oie to the French, Oca to the Italians and Ganzo to the Spanish, this bird is lesser known in cooking circles and often overlooked for the smaller and more popular duck.
The key to cooking a good goose is letting loose the fat through an elaborate drip system. If you are willing to put in some time, the best way to do this is to first dip the uncooked goose in boiling water until it gets ‘goose bumps’ then prick the skin and let the fat drip out for 24-48 hrs.
After letting loose the juice for an extended period of time we filled the cavity with apples, sage, thyme, persimmons, and onions. We then placed the bird in the oven at 450 for about 30 minutes then reduced the heat to 350 and cooked it for about 1.5 hrs. The goose was basted every 20 minutes with the stock and the skin left to crisp at the end.
After letting the bird sit for a bit, we removed the fat, then created a sauce using the drippings, some Madeira, and a bit of flour. An experienced bird carver is key…
The meal was kicked off with a first course of a delicious Tarte Pissaladière, a French onion tart topped with anchovies, popular in Provence.
The goose was then served paired with carrots and broccolli, an apple and sausage chutney, and roasted potatoes with rosemary and olive oil. Compliments to our mother, the head chef.
A special occasion called for a special bottle, so we cracked open our last Magnum of 2008 Sangiovese and toasted to good friends, family, and an idle end to 2013.