i Editor's Letter: The first goose I ever cooked


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The Independent Online


I trust you all had a happy, peaceful Christmas Day and got something under the tree that made you smile. I also hope you did not spend all of it in the kitchen.

My weekend was a tale of two birds and two top chefs’ recipes. Jamie and Gordon have helped many improve the Christmas roast or deal – so say their websites. But how can it be that you follow their instructions to the letter – and yet…? Jamie’s Christmas turkey I did last year – easy,right? Many i readers must have spent yesterday morning squelching herby butter under the turkey’s skin to keep its breast from going dry and then fretting over the correct cavity to stuff clementines into?

It was all fine, until I had to cook anything else. We had a monster bird; I have one small oven. Jamie has a TV set’s worth. How then to cook a giant turkey plus potatoes, winter veg, etc? Oliver’s way is to rest the bird under foil and tea towels, but it then carries on cooking and cooking. So … spuds: great; veggies: nice; Brussels (with pancetta and chestnuts): historic; peas with onions: fab. Turkey? The only element for which I turned to a top chef, not my ma? Dry.

Yesterday, before i: the first goose I ever cooked. In Gordon’s hands this time. So, no chef has family allergies, ever – let alone to lemons? He said the fat would pour off. He wasn’t wrong. He said the fat would make roasties taste great – also correct. No, need to turn the bird upside down? Yep. So, the problem? If ever a set of Japanese knives and their so-called sharpener failed a real carving challenge, it was my professionally cooked, amateurishly carved goose.

Next year, it’s off to the knife sharpeners we go. But, the tasty, moist goose was a huge hit. Why not try it next year? I’m sorry if this is inconsequential to some, but columns of consequence can wait a while. Happy Boxing Day.