Christmas Goose and Stuffing

James Beard

Author and Educator

James Beard felt there was nothing as satisfying as a goose well cooked, especially on Christmas; his stuffing recipe will enhance the flavor of its rich meat. If there’s any left, Beard suggests serving it the next day combined with white beans, goose fat, salt, pepper, and parsley.


  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onions
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 5 to 6 cups fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups peeled and chopped apples
  • 1 cup chestnuts, cooked and peeled, or canned
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped prunes, steeped in water or Madeira
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 8 to 10-pound goose


Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Sauté onions in butter, add bread crumbs, moistening them in the butter, and blend with salt, apples, chestnuts, and prunes. Season with thyme and nutmeg, and blend together well. Stuff the goose with this mixture, truss, sew up, or skewer the cavity, and tie the legs together. Place the goose breast side up on a rack in a roasting pan.

Roast for 1 hour, then reduce the temperature to 350ºF and roast for another hour, without basting. As the fat renders from the goose, remove it to a jar for future use. After the second hour, reduce heat to 325ºF and continue roasting until the bird is nicely browned and done. The leg meat should be soft when pressed, and the juices, when the thigh is pricked, should run beigey-pink. Total roasting time for a 6 to 8-pound bird will be 1 1/2 to 2 hours, for the 8 to 10-pound size from 2 to 2 3/4 hours, and 2 3/4 to 3 1/4 hours for a 10 to 12-pound bird.


10 to 12 servings