German Christmas Goose (We ihnachtsgans)

German Christmas goose recipe weihnachtgans

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 2 hrs
Total: 2 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 4 servings

Weihnachtsgans or German Christmas goose is the preferred fowl choice, along with duck, for festive occasions. Turkey is rarely seen on holiday dinner tables. Goose, for that matter, is rarely seen anymore, as well, which is a shame because it is so simple to prepare. Like other poultry, onions, ​thyme, and fruit are great seasoning choices with goose.


  • For the Goose:
  • 4 1/2-pound goose (cleaned and dressed, no gizzards)
  • Dash salt (or to taste)
  • Dash pepper (or to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 apples (peeled, cored, and quartered)
  • 1 small onion (cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-wide strips)
  • 1 tablespoon salt (mixed with 1 cup water)
  • For the Gravy:
  • 2 tablespoons goose drippings
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 (14-ounce) can chicken broth (or homemade chicken stock)
  • Optional: salt
  • Optional: pepper
  • Optional: dried thyme

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this dish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

Make the Goose

  1. Gather the Ingredients.

    Grerman Christmas goose recipe weihnachtgans
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  2. Heat oven to 350 F.

  3. Wash and dry the goose, like you would a chicken or turkey. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and thyme inside the cavity and fill with apple quarters and onions. If they don’t all fit, you can cook them alongside the goose in a small, buttered dish.

    Wash and dry the goose
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Mix 1 tablespoon salt with 1 cup of water and pour that into the bottom of the roasting pan. Place the roasting rack on top. Pierce the goose skin in several places to let the fat drip out as it cooks.

    Mix salt
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  5. Put the goose, breast-side down, on the roasting rack and place in oven for 50 minutes. Use the salt water mixture to baste the goose several times during this period. Add more water to drip pan if necessary. Turn the goose over onto its back and cook, basting as needed, for 50 minutes.

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  6. Let the goose rest for 5 minutes as you make the gravy.

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Make the Gravy

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for seasoning
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck 
  2. Mix 2 tablespoons of the fat drippings with 2 tablespoons flour in a small saucepan and cook for 1 minute. Gradually add the chicken broth, stirring well after each addition. Add salt, pepper, and thyme, if desired, to taste. Keep warm.

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Serve the goose and gravy with canned peach halves decorated with currant jelly (if you don't want to make currant jelly or can't find it prepared., cranberry sauce is a fine substitute), buttered Brussels sprouts, potato croquettes (or mashed potatoes), and the cooked apples and onions.

    Serve the goose
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck 

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