Roast goose at Christmas time is more a German tradition than a Swiss one. But in recent years, interest in this festive dish has been growing in Switzerland too. For a successful Christmas dinner, there’s one important thing to remember: don’t cook it too hot!
Unfortunately, my first Christmas goose was less than a roaring success. Despite following the recipe to the letter, I ended up serving meat that was far too dry. Small wonder, because an unbelievable amount of fat had escaped while the goose was in the oven.
Years later, I summoned up the courage to try goose again – this time with a tip from the women I sourced it from. The Fiechter sisters, who were selling really good meat at the market in Zurich, were able to tell me exactly why my Christmas goose had been a failure: at over 200 degrees, my oven was far too hot.
The meat experts advised me to put the goose in the oven at just 120 degrees, adding hot water first. During cooking, you should repeatedly pour liquid over the meat. The goose should only be crisped under the grill after nearly five hours and after having been turned once. Since then, I’ve always stuck to these rules, and my goose is always succulent. How you stuff it is up to you. And by the way, even if you’re not having a Christmas goose, this tip is equally useful for other kinds of poultry. Chicken will also stay more succulent if you are careful to oven-cook it at not too high a temperature, say at just 140 or 160 degrees.