Traditional Finnish Christmas meal includes an oven-cooked ham but my parents happily followed French traditions while in Paris. Good for me, as I do not eat pork!
One week before Christmas we visited the boucherie-restaurant Les Provinces near Marché d’Aligre to see what our options for the Christmas meal are. The most typical French Christmas meat (poultry) is capon, a castrated rooster, but the butcher suggested we buy goose. After discussing the choice between the capon and the goose with everyone, we agreed that we prefer goose. Price-wise there was no difference and we had a feeling that the goose will be more original –the goose meat is more reddish brown (similar to duck or duckling) whereas the capon remains white as chicken (but is more fatty). So, “Prepare us a nice big goose with stuffing” we told the butcher and left a 10€ prepayment!
In the afternoon of the Christmas Eve we returned to fetch our stuffed goose and in the late morning of the Christmas Day we opened the package to find a beautiful, fat goose from Anjou with some organs aside for those who appreciate them.
We followed the roasting instructions: higher temperature in the beginning that gives the goose golden color and crispy texture, and lower temperature during the rest of the time with the aluminium foil. We added a glass of water in the casserole and kept moistening the goose with this water (some fat drained from the goose and mixed with the water). 2 1/2 hours later our goose left the oven and was ready to be cut. Such a beautiful piece of goose it was!
Everyone loved the goose and it will surely find its way to our Christmas table again in future! We enjoyed it with sweetened potato casserole, a Finnish dish, but you could also serve roasted carrots and potatoes or other vegetable with it. The red wine we had was Mas des Montagnes, “Terroirs d’Altitude” AOC Côtes du Roussillon Villages, and it was really excellent!!
The stuffing our goose had included veal, poultry liver, onion, alcohol, herbs and spices, and no pork, but remember that nothing prevents you from creating your own stuffing…
Boucherie-restaurant Les Provinces: Easy Saturday dinner from the Aligre Market
Wine: Maison Lorgeril from Languedoc-Roussillon and http://www.lorgeril.com/2-35542-Terroir-d-Altitude.php
PS As a bonus, here you go with a photo of the organs we prepared some days after Christmas. We recognized liver and gizzard but were not sure about the rest. Do you have an idea?