Who better to ask for some simple tips for first-timers than Claire Symington who began her career in catering and became a lecturer and head cook at Leith’s Good Food in London. She then moved to Seldom Seen Farm, Billesdon in Leicestershire, where she and her husband Robert rear 4,000 geese for Christmas each year.
'Goose is naturally juicier than a turkey, so there is no fear of drying out,' says Claire. 'Indeed it's coping with the fat that puts some people off - but of course the fat is such a wonderful by-product much prized by top chefs today.'
Remove the giblets and the body cavity fat. Store the giblets and the goose separately in the fridge. Frozen birds must be allowed to thaw thoroughly before cooking, follow instructions
Allow 15 minutes per 450g / l lb plus 20 minutes.
Do not overcook.
3 hours for 4.5kg (10lb)
3.5 hours for 5.4kg (12lb)
Oven 200 C / 400 F (Fan oven 180 C / 350 F)
Gas mark 6
Aga top right hand oven
A large, deep meat tin ideally with a trivet or rack, foil, salt and pepper and stuffing of your choice.
After resting in cool oven for at least 30 minutes, place on board to carve, take long slices from the breast, or, and I prefer this, remove the whole breast from either side of the bird and then with a short bladed knife carve across the grain into slices. Then carve the meat from the legs.