"I thought it might be nice to celebrate Christmas this year with one of my favourite birds - the good old goose," says Strode. "I just love the extra flavour and richness you get with geese. Get your geese about a week before Christmas to get organised - you'll be able to serve up cracking fare that you can prep well in advance and then relax with everyone else on the day. You can easily substitute with two large ducks with exactly the same cooking times and methods." Start preparing the geese two days before Christmas.
- 2 geese, or ducks (about 2.3kg each)
- vegetable oil, For brushing
- watercress, To garnish
- 1Remove the legs from the goose to use for <a href="http://www.gourmettraveller.com.au/recipes/recipe-search/chefs-recipes/2014/12/confit-goose-peach-bitter-leaf-and-dried-cranberry-salad/">goose confit</a>. Remove the neck, wishbone and backbone of each carcass and reserve for goose gravy. You will be left with the goose breasts on the frame (see note).
- 2Heat a large steamer over a saucepan of boiling water, wrap each goose breast in a clean tea towel and tie at each end with string, then steam, covered, for 8 minutes (if your steamer isn’t big enough do this in batches). Remove breasts from steamer, unwrap, place on a tray and refrigerate uncovered overnight for skin to dry.
- 3Preheat oven to 220C. Remove geese from fridge 45 minutes before roasting to bring to room temperature. Heat a large ovenproof non-stick or cast-iron frying pan over medium-high heat, brush goose skin with oil and sear skin-side down until browned (2-3 minutes). Place geese skin-side up, transfer pan to oven and roast until cooked to your liking (15 minutes for medium-rare). Remove and rest in a warm place (20 minutes).
- 4To serve, cut breasts from frames and return to oven to warm through (2 minutes). Discard frames or reserve for stock. Carve each breast diagonally into thin slices. Place on a warm platter, garnish with watercress and serve.
Note If you're not feeling brave, ask your butcher to prepare the geese for you.
Drink Suggestion: Dawson and James Chardonnay from Tasmania is a medium to full-bodied white with plenty of delicate baking spice and a fresh finish. A beautiful grenache from the southern Rhône Valley such as Pignan Châteauneuf du Pape is an elegant red option, with depth and spice. Drink suggestion by Franck Moreau