Traditional Christmas Goose

A favorite amongst the Irish, Germans, and English is the traditional Christmas goose.

Filling the cavity with fruit, not only gives the roasting goose a wonderful flavor and scent; it also makes your kitchen smell divine. Also, carefully pricking the skin is the secret to a beautiful crispy finish.

  • 1 (10-12 pound) young goose, fully thawed
  • 1 1/2 gallon cold water
  • 1 cup sea salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 1 apple, peeled and quartered
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 orange, quartered
  • 1 lemon, quartered

Add the 1 1/2 gallons of cold water to a container, or stockpot large enough to fit the goose and brine mixture. Add the salt, sugar, and peppercorns, and stir to dissolve the salt and sugar. Unwrap the goose and remove anything in the cavity. Rinse and trim any excess fat from the neck and/or tail end of the goose and place into the brine so that it is completely submerged. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or up to 24 hours.

Remove the goose from the brine and pat dry, inside and out, with paper towels. Sprinkle the goose cavity generously with salt and pepper. Put the onion, apple, orange and lemon into the cavity. Place the goose, breast-side up, in a large roasting pan with rack, to keep it at least 1 inch off the bottom. If you dont have a rack, I’ve often cut apple rings and used that to keep the goose off the bottom.

With a small sharp knife prick the goose skin all-over, especially where you can see and feel fat under the surface. Be carefully NOT to piece the flesh, only the skin and fat. This will allow the fat to drain during the cooking and make for a crisper skin. Salt and pepper the goose to taste, and add 2 cups of water into the bottom of the pan.

Roast at 350 degrees F. for 2 1/4 to 3 hours, until it reaches an internal temperature of 170 degrees F. Remove from oven and cover loosely with foil and let rest for at least 25 minutes before carving. Its very important to rest, especially around the holidays.

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