SI Vault
Harry Botsford
December 20, 1954
Waterfowl at the year-end is a tradition worth cultivating. Herewith a flock of recipes calculated to win new respect for a great holiday fare
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December 20, 1954

A Duck Or Goose For Christmas

Waterfowl at the year-end is a tradition worth cultivating. Herewith a flock of recipes calculated to win new respect for a great holiday fare

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Clean, singe and give onion-lemon treatment to 2 ducks, then hang them for three days. Remove lemon and onion, wash in running cold water and dry. Stone and cut meat from 12 large ripe olives, cover them with olive oil and � clove garlic, finely minced. Over a low fire melt 4 tablespoons butter and add 3 inside stalks of celery and an onion, finely minced. Saut� until soft, remove from fire and stir in the olives, 3/4 cup toasted bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons brandy or red wine. Salt and pepper to taste.

Stuff and truss birds, rub breasts with butter, sprinkle with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. Put ducks on a rack in a roasting pan, pour over them � cup red cooking wine, � cup water. Roast 30 minutes in 450� oven (more if they're large), basting with pan juices. Put ducks on hot platter, remove trussing. Skim most of fat from pan juices, stir in � tablespoon cornstarch mixed to paste in cold water, � teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons butter. Cook over low heat, stirring as gravy thickens. Serve with steamed wild rice, hot biscuits, sliced tomatoes and chives in mild French dressing.


Clean, singe and age the ducks; place each in a pan which you have formed of heavy aluminum foil. Rub the birds inside and out with salt, pepper and a pinch of rosemary. Put in a 450� oven and baste the mallards with melted butter and orange juice. Roast for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 350� and keep basting at frequent intervals with pan juices. Roast for 20 minutes; then increase the heat to 450� for 15 to 20 minutes. As the mallards are served, a spoonful of the duck essence should be added to each portion.

With the ducks you will do well to serve small baked potatoes, green beans in a lemon butter sauce, a Caesar salad and hot muffins. Suggested beverage: wine or ice-cold beer, then coffee and a fruit dessert.


A youngish bird is best; otherwise, just roast a little longer. Clean carefully, removing the oil sac at the base of the tail feathers (the so-called "pope's nose"), and wash inside and out with mild soap suds. Rinse completely in running water. Stuff with tart apple quarters, truss firmly by tying legs and wings close to body. Rub salt and pepper into the skin, place fat bacon slices over the breast. Roast the goose on a rack in a roasting pan, uncovered, in a 500� oven for 30 minutes; then reduce to 300�, cover the pan and roast 2 to 3 hours. Remove bacon strips before the final half hour. If skin isn't crisp and brown, baste by brushing with honey and � teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet. A fork should penetrate breast easily when the goose is tender. Remove the trussing string before the bird goes to the table.

With this incomparable dish serve baked Hubbard squash liberally buttered, Brussels sprouts in a lemon sauce, a crisp cole slaw, hot corn bread, plus a fruit-and-cheese tray for dessert. My German friends are emphatic in their belief that cold beer is the only beverage to serve with roast goose and I cannot argue. Roast goose is a Christmas tradition in Europe.


Clean the bird, stuff with raw cabbage, onion slices and lemon halves, and hang for four days; then discard stuffing and rinse in cold water. Remove the oil sac at the tail. Place in a large pot of salty water, bring to a boil, remove froth, add 4 sliced onions, 1 diced carrot, 8 peppercorns, 2 celery stalks (including leaves), a pinch of thyme and 1 tablespoon tarragon vinegar. Cover and simmer gently over low heat until tender. Remove and cut into serving pieces; saut� them gently in butter until browned all over.

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