Roast goose with prune and chestnut stuffing


450g/1lb prunes, pitted
240ml/8fl oz port
1kg/2.25lb fresh chestnuts
30g/1oz butter
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
6 stalks celery, chopped
4 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

5.4kg/12lb oven-ready goose with giblets
cooking oil or butter



1. Soak the prunes for one hour in the port.

2. Meanwhile prepare the chestnuts. Make a slit in the top of each one with a sharp knife. Put them in boiling water and simmer for ten minutes. Remove a few at a time with a slotted spoon. Wearing clean rubber gloves, slip off the outer and inner skins. Place the chestnuts in a large bowl.

3. Melt the butter in a large pan and add the onion, garlic and celery. Cook without browning until the onion has softened.

4. Add the chestnuts and prunes with the port they have been soaking in and simmer gently for 30 minutes.

5. Stir in the parsley, season with salt and pepper.


1. Remove the giblets and cook them in at least 2-3l/4-6 pint of water. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 3-4 hours then strain and thicken the stock to make the gravy.

2. Stuff the goose with the prune and chestnut stuffing, or as an alternative fill the body cavity with leek tops and chopped apple and cook the stuffing separately in a dish.

3. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

4. Prick the skin and rub salt and pepper all over it, then brush with cooking oil or butter. Cover the legs with spare fat taken from the inside of the goose.

5. Line a large, deep meat tin with foil so you can make a parcel of the goose. Place the goose on a trivet or rack in the meat tin, breast side up. If a trivet is not available, place the goose on the foil in the tin. Wrap the goose in foil, making sure there is double protection over the legs.

6. Place the goose in the oven, allowing 15 minutes per 0.45kg/1lb plus 20 minutes, thus 3½ hours for 12lb goose.

7. After the first hour baste the goose and make sure the legs are still covered and that the skin is not burning.

8. For the last half to three-quarters of an hour of cooking uncover the breast to brown, and baste again.

9. Lift the goose on to a carving dish to rest for approximately 20 minutes before carving. Keep covered.