Over the years we've seen the movies and televisions shows of older times and a Christmas Goose was often on the menu. Below is a recipe from Miss Leslie's New Cook Book © 1857 by Eliza Leslie on how to prepare Roast Goose.
ROAST GOOSE.—A goose for roasting should be young, tender, and fat; so tender, that the skin can easily be torn by a pin; the bill and legs smooth and of a light yellow color, and the toes breaking when bent under. If the skin is thick and tough, and the bill and legs a dark reddish yellow, rough and hairy, do not buy the goose. It is old, and no cooking can make it eatable. A goose, from its profusion of feathers, looks like a large bird when walking about; but when plucked and prepared for the spit, it will be found very deceptive. It is much more hollow than a turkey; and, except the breast, there is but little eating on it. In large families it is usual to have a pair of roast geese, one not being sufficient. Geese are not good except for roasting, or in a pie.
In preparing a goose for cooking, save the giblets for the gravy. After the goose has been drawn, singed well, washed and wiped, inside and out; trussed so as to look round and short; make a quantity of stuffing, (as its hollow body will require a great deal.) For this purpose, parboil two good sized onions, and a large bunch of green sage. Mince both the sage and onions, seasoning them with a small salt-spoon of salt, half as much black pepper, and still less cayenne. Add a hard-boiled egg finely minced (yolk and white;) the chopped egg giving a nice smoothness to the sage and onion. •If your gooseis large, take two chopped eggs.
To make the stuffing very mild, fif preferred so,) add a handful of finely grated bread-cruru Ds ; or two or three fine juicy chopped apples. Fill the body and craw with this stuffing, and secure it with a needle and thread from falling out. Set the goose before a clear, steady fire—having a little warm water in the dripping-pan to baste it till the gravy begins to fall. Keep it well basted all the time it is roasting. It must be thoroughly done all through. * Ro;ist it according to its size, from an hour and a half to two hours or more.
Boil the giblets in a sauce-pan by themselves, seasoned with a little salt and pepper, and having among them a bit of butter dredged with flour. When done, remove the neck, and retain the heart, liver, and gizzard, cut into pieces, and served in the gravy, which should be well skimmed. Also, skim carefully the fat off the gravy in the bottom of the dripping-pan. Put the two gravies together, and serve them up in a gravy tureen. To eat with the goose, have plenty of apple-sauce, made of fine juicy apples, stewed very dry, well sweetened, and flavored with the grated yellow rind and juice of a lemon; or with some rose-water and nutmeg stirred in after the sauce is taken from the fire. Rose-water evaporates in cooking, and should never boi i or be kept on the fire. A bain marie, or double kettle, is excellent for stewing fruit; putting the fruit inside, and the water outside.
For a family dinner a goose is very good stuffed with well-boiled potatos, mashed smooth, with plenty of fresh butter or gravy. Sweet potatos' make an excellent stuffing. So do boiled chestnuts, mashed with butter or gravy.