Roast Goose with Cognac Sauce

Geese are bonier than other poultry and have larger rib cages so weight for weight, a goose will feed fewer people than a turkey or large chicken. The benefit being that although they have a high fat content, they are packed with flavor and make a great change at Christmas and our family love them. Don’t worry about the fat because most of it is under the skin so melts during cooking and bastes the meat keeping it moist.  When choosing a goose, look for a plump bird with a pale, unblemished skin and a good layer of fat beneath it.  If you can get a free-range or organic bird, all the better!

This recipe will serve 6-8 people.


  • 6.5kg goose with giblets removed
  • 2 lemons de-seeded and cut into quarters
  • 8 cloves unpeeled garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 500ml chicken stock (home made if possible)
  • 1 small wine glass of Cognac
  • A packet of dried apple pieces


  • Take the goose out of the fridge a good hour before cooking, to make sure it’s room temperature. Preheat the oven to 180°C, Gas mark 4.
  • Remove the wrapping and the giblets and wipe the inside of the cavity with kitchen paper. (Any excess white fat that you may find inside before you stuff the bird can be cut away and melted very slowly over a low heat, cooled, strained and kept in the fridge for up to 6 months – it’s excellent for frying and roasting.)
  • Now stuff the goose with the lemons and garlic. Prick the breast with a fork and sprinkle with a little sea salt and pepper.
  • Weigh your goose after you have stuffed it and then allow 15 minutes per 500g, plus an extra 30 minutes cooking time. Place the goose on a rack in a large roasting pan.
  • Put the giblets (except for the liver) into a covered bowl in the fridge ready to make the gravy. Place the liver into the goose with the lemons and garlic.
  • Baste the goose frequently. Remove some of the fat if there is too much in the pan. (You can use this fat to roast the potatoes in). Loosely ‘tent’ the goose with foil if it appears to be browning too quickly.
  • When cooked, transfer the roast goose to a serving platter and cover it to keep it warm.
  • Skim the fat off the juices and reserve for future use. Stir into a large pan the drippings, 2 tablespoons of the reserved goose fat, the giblets, the chicken broth, Cognac, the lemon quarters and garlic from the goose and the dried fruit. Set over a medium-high heat. Gently bring the mixture to a boil and allow the gravy to cook down for 10 to 15 minutes. Press down onto the lemon quarters to release all the juice. Strain and place into a gravy boat.
  • Place the goose onto a serving and serve the sauce separately.

Bon Appetite – Alex 🙂