Roasted Goose Legs with Sour Cherry Glaze and Gravy

Food & Wine editor Melanie Hansche reimagines the traditions of her hometown of Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bavaria, Germany, in her recipe for sour cherry–glazed roasted goose legs. In Bavaria, it's not Christmas without roast goose, but roasting individual legs makes it a more manageable endeavor. You can find frozen goose legs online at Schiltz Foods. Geese are fatty birds and will render a lot of delicious fat, which you can keep on hand for roasting vegetables. Draining off the fat halfway through cooking will yield better pan juices for gravy at the end. The goose legs cook for a total of 2 hours. Basting regularly and glazing in the last 15 minutes of cooking time give these goose legs their gorgeously crisp, lacquered skin. 

Sour Cherry-Glazed Goose Legs with Gravy
Photo: Photo by Greg Dupree / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Prissy Lee
Active Time:
44 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 5 mins


  • 4 young goose leg quarters (about 1 1/4 lb. each), thawed if frozen

  • 4 teaspoons fine sea salt, plus more to taste

  • 2 teaspoons black pepper

  • ¼ cup sour cherry spread (such as Divina)

  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 2 small yellow onions, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rings

  • 1 medium carrot, roughly chopped (about 1/2 cup)

  • 2 (6-inch) thyme sprigs

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 cup chicken stock, plus more ifneeded

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • ¾ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (optional)


  1. Pat goose legs dry with paper towels,and arrange skin side up on a large rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate, uncovered, at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours to dry out skin.

  2. Remove from refrigerator; sprinkle goose legs evenly with salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour.

  3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F with rack 10 inches from top of oven. Combine sour cherry spread, vinegar, and mustard in a small saucepan; cook over low, stirring occasionally, until well combined, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour mixture through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a small bowl; discard solids. Set glaze aside.

  4. Arrange onions, carrot, and thyme sprigs in an even layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Pour in 1 cup water. Place goose legs, skin sides up, on top of vegetable mixture, evenly spaced. Roast until skin begins to render and brown, about 45 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven; transfer goose legs to a large platter. Carefully pour pan juices and fat from baking sheet into a large heatproof liquid measuring cup or a fat separator (leave vegetables on baking sheet); set aside. Return goose legs, skin sides up, to top of vegetable mixture on baking sheet; pour in chicken stock. Return to oven; roast at 350°F for 20 minutes, occasionally basting goose legs with juices on baking sheet.

  5. Meanwhile, separate fat from reserved pan juices in measuring cup by skimming the top or using fat separator. Set aside fat and pan juices separately.

  6. Brush skin side of goose legs with sour cherry glaze. Continue roasting at 350°F until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion of legs registers 170°F, 15 to 20 minutes. Turn on broiler to high. Broil goose legs until skin is dark mahoganyand lacquered, and a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion of legs registers 180°F, 3 to 6 minutes. Transfer goose legs to a large platter, and cover loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm.

  7. Pour vegetable mixture on baking sheet through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a large heatproof liquid measuring cup; discard solids. Separate fat from strained pan juices by skimming the top or using a fat separator. Add separated fat to reserved fat; add pan juices to reserved pan juices. Add chicken stock to pan juices as needed to measure 1 1/4 cups liquid.

  8. Heat 2 tablespoons reserved fat in a small skillet over medium. Reserve remaining fat for another use. Add flour to fat in skillet; cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Gradually add reserved 1 1/4 cups pan juices, whisking constantly, until gravy is smooth. Cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk in Worcestershire sauce, or season with salt to taste. Serve gravy alongside goose legs.

Suggested Pairing

Earthy Austrian red: 2018 Moric Blaufränkisch


Find frozen goose legs online at

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