What to eat with red Bordeaux


Christmas calls for red Bordeaux. This watercolour illustration depicts a sliced fig alongside a whole fig, and five chestnuts. They are key ingredients in Stewart Turner's recipe for Christmas goose, delicious with Claret.
Illustration by Eleanor Crow

Head Chef Stewart Turner shares his recipe for goose with chestnuts and figs: hearty, festive and delicious with Claret.

Choosing wine for Christmas can be a daunting task. A lot of it depends on what you’re serving: Pinot Noir has always been my go-to for turkey, and Claret if we’re having goose or beef. So, here’s my recipe for goose leg, which will be a winner with various wines, but is a perfect match for Claret.

Whether you opt for turkey or goose at Christmas, my top tip is to always take the legs off the bird and cook them separately. It’s a bit of a faff, but it makes life simpler on the day, reduces cooking time and, more importantly, the result is delicious. I confit the legs before roasting, then I flake the meat and finish with figs and chestnut. The legs can be cooked the day before and finished on the big day, while roasting the crown of the goose.

Goose with chestnuts and figs


One goose, legs removed (if you ask your butcher to do this for you, ask them to also remove the wishbone)
50g rock salt
½ tsp peppercorns
Five sprigs of thyme
One sprig of rosemary
Three cloves of garlic
Goose fat to cover


Start by blitzing the salt, peppercorns, herbs and garlic in a food processor. Liberally sprinkle the blended mixture over the goose legs, place them in a tray or dish, cover them with the goose fat and refrigerate overnight for about 12 hours.

The next day, preheat the oven to 120°C. Brush off all the salt mix and place the legs in a casserole dish. Melt the goose fat and pour it over the legs, cover them and place them in the oven. Cook for around three hours, until the meat is tender and falling from the bone. Remove the dish from the oven and allow it to cool. Keep it refrigerated until ready to serve.

To finish

One tbsp goose fat
Two shallots, peeled and finely chopped
Two cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
One tsp thyme, picked
½ bunch sage, picked and leaves shredded
200g of chestnuts, cooked and peeled
100g of dried figs, chopped
15ml of Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper


Preheat the oven to 180°C. Allow the goose legs to come up to room temperature and remove them from the fat, which can be kept for the roasties. Place the legs in a roasting tray, pop them in the preheated oven for around 30 minutes, until they’re lovely and golden.

Heat the goose fat in a frying pan over a medium heat. Sweat down the shallots, garlic, and thyme until they’re softened but not coloured. Season with salt and pepper. Add the chestnuts and figs, cook for a further five minutes until they start to turn a lovely golden hue, then deglaze with the vinegar. Set the pan aside.

Flake the confit goose leg – think crispy duck at a Chinese restaurant – and discard the bones. Place the flaked meat in a serving dish and scatter over the fig and chestnut mix. Keep the dish warm, before serving with roasted goose breast and a traditional apple sauce.

Uncover the origins of festive Claret traditions here, or explore our selection of wines here.