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Gordon's Christmas Roast Goose


Gordon Ramsay shows you how to cook the chefs’ choice of Christmas main courses – a golden goose. Keep the fat to use through the winter months.

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  • 1 (8 to 12-pound) fresh goose (4 to 5.5-kg)
  • 4 lemons
  • 3 limes
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • Small handful each parsley sprigs, thyme and sage, plus extra for garnishing
  • Olive oil , for browning, optional
  • 3 tablespoons clear honey
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves


Servings 6
Preparation time 35mins
Cooking time 80mins


Step 1

Calculate the cooking time (see tips, below). If the goose is ready-trussed, then loosen the string and pull out the legs and wings a little - this helps the bird cook better. Check the inside of the bird and remove any giblets or pads of fat. Using the tip of a sharp knife, lightly score the breast and leg skin in a criss-cross. This helps the fat to render down more quickly during roasting.

Grate the zest from the lemons and limes. Mix with 2 teaspoons fine sea salt, the five-spice powder and pepper to taste. Season the cavity of the goose generously with salt, then rub the citrus mix well into the skin and sprinkle some inside the cavity.

Stuff the zested fruit and the herb sprigs inside the bird and set aside for at least 15 minutes. Can be done up to a day ahead and kept refrigerated.

Heat oven to 240°C/430°F. If you want to give the bird a nice golden skin, brown in a large frying pan (or a heavy-based roasting tin), using a couple of tablespoons of oil. Holding the bird by the legs (you may like to use an oven glove), press it down on the breasts to brown.

Once browned, place the bird in the roasting tin. Drizzle with the honey and sprinkle with thyme leaves. Roast for the calculated time, turning the heat down after 10 minutes to 190C/375°F. Cover the goose with foil if it is starting to brown too much.

Every 30 minutes or so, baste the bird with the pan juices, then pour off the fat through a sieve into a large heatproof bowl . You will end up with at least a liter of luscious fat - save this for the potatoes and other veggies. At the end of the cooking time, leave to rest for at least 30 minutes, covered loosely with foil. The bird will not go cold, but will be moist and much easier to carve.

Roasting times:

Cook for 10 minutes at 240C/430°F, then reduce to 190C/375°F and cook for 20 minutes per kilogram for medium-rare, 32 minutes per kg for more well-done, plus 30 minutes resting.


Goose breasts are shallow, so take a sharp, long thin-bladed knife and angle it at about 90 degrees to the breastbone, carving from the neck end. Detach the legs, then slice off the thigh meat.

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