This unusual recipe, from Julia Child’s The Way to Cook (Random House, 1989), produces a moist goose with crisp skin.

Yield: serves 6


  • 1 (12-lb.) goose, heart and gizzard reserved
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 sprigs fresh sage
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
  • 1 12 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 12 cup Madeira


  1. Trim wing tips from goose and place tips in a small saucepan. Add heart, gizzard, and 5 cups water and simmer over medium heat for 1-2 hours. Strain stock and reserve.
  2. Meanwhile, prick goose all over with a fork. Pull away and discard loose fat. Season cavity and skin with salt and pepper, then rub skin with lemon. Place lemon, thyme, and sage in cavity, then truss.
  3. Place goose on a rack set in a large roasting pan. Place pan on top of stove; pour about 1″ boiling water into bottom. Cover pan with a tight-fitting lid or aluminum foil and steam goose over medium heat for 1 hour, adding more boiling water if necessary to prevent pan from becoming dry.
  4. Preheat oven to 325°. Pour off liquid from pan, then scatter onions, carrots, and celery in bottom. Place goose, breast side down, on rack. Moisten with 1 cup reserved stock and roast, covered, for 1 hour.
  5. Increase heat to 475°. Uncover goose, turn breast side up, and continue cooking, uncovered, until skin is golden and juices run clear, about 30 minutes more. Transfer goose to a cutting board and allow to rest for 30 minutes before carving.
  6. Meanwhile, dissolve cornstarch in madeira. Skim fat from pan juices, then heat in roasting pan on top of stove over medium-high heat. Deglaze pan with madeira mixture. Reduce heat to medium, add remaining stock, season to taste with salt and pepper, and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Strain sauce into a gravy boat. Carve goose, arrange on a platter, and garnish with fresh sage leaves if desired.