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Alternatives to Turkey


A 4.5-5.5kg (10-12 lb) goose will feed 8-10 people comfortably and is a popular choice. It is essential to cook a goose on a grill rack in a roasting tin. Do not prick the skin all over but do prick the heavy folds of fat just behind the wings by the back legs.

All cooking times are approximate.

Whole Goose

A whole stuffed goose 4.5kg (10 lb) will take approximately 3 hours total cooking time, a 5.4kg (12 lb) goose 31/2 hours.

  1. Protect the legs and wings with fat bacon and foil, and tent the whole bird with foil leaving a slit in the top by the breastbone during cooking.
  2. Roast in an AGA roasting tin on the lowest set of runners in the roasting oven for 1 hour.
  3.  Drain the fat that has filled the tin, turn the bird upside down and roast for a further hour.
  4. Drain the fat and turn back the right side up to brown, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
  5. Re-cover with foil and continue roasting until cooked.

Boned & Rolled Goose Roasts

For roasts such as ‘goose banquet rolls’, ‘birds within a bird’ (a pheasant in a chicken in a goose, etc.) and turkey or duck breasts rolled in a boned goose, fast roast these only – using the turkey fast method timings as a guide. Because boned and rolled roasts are so dense it is essential to ensure that they are thoroughly cooked right to the centre. The use of a meat thermometer is strongly recommended. The slow method is not suitable for these roasts and should not be used.

Mushroom and Pesto Filo Cups

Mushroom and Pesto Filo Cups
Mushroom Parcels

These would make a delightful main course for those who do not eat meat. The filo pastry takes up the pesto flavour which complements the mushroom filling.  

Makes 3 x 9cm (3½ inch) ‘cups’                                  

Use 3 x 9cm (3½ inch) diameter ring moulds, 3½cm (1¼ inch) high


  • 2 tsp rapeseed oil
  • 2 tsp pesto
  • 3 sheets of filo pastry, each measuring 30cm x 30cm (12 inch x 12 inch)


  • 280g (10 oz) mix of exotic mushrooms, such as enoki, oyster, Portobello
  • 50g (1¾ oz) butter
  • 1 clove of garlic, grated
  • 150ml double cream
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped flat leaf parsley

Garnish: Fresh parsley


  1. Brush the ring moulds with a little of the oil and place them onto a baking sheet or the AGA cold plain shelf, lined with Bake-O-Glide.
  2. Mix the remaining oil and pesto together. 
  3. Brush a sheet of filo pastry with the oil and pesto mix (keep the rest of the filo pastry under a clean, damp cloth so it does not dry out). 
  4. Cut this piece of filo into 4 squares and pile the squares on top of each other, slightly offset each one which will give a more interesting appearance. 
  5. Ease into the ring mould.
  6. Repeat the process with the remaining two sheets of pastry.

2-oven Traditional AGA (R5 Series):  Place the baking sheet on the oven grid shelf set on the floor of the roasting oven with the cold plain shelf slid on the second runners down to protect the pastry cups, whilst cooking.  Bake for about 15-20 minutes until golden and crisp.

All other AGA models:  Place the baking sheet or cold plain shelf onto the oven grid shelf set on the floor of the baking oven.  Bake for about 18-20 minutes until golden and crisp.

Meanwhile make up the filling.  Cut the mushrooms into slices or tear into pieces and sauté in the butter for 3 minutes then grate in the garlic and cook for a further minute.  Pour in the double cream and bring to the boil, season and simmer for about 2 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken.  Keep the mushroom mixture warm – simmering or warming oven.

Take the cooked pastry cups from the oven and remove them from the rings.  Arrange on a warm serving plate.  Stir the chopped parsley into the mushrooms and pile into the pastry cups.  Garnish with fresh parsley and serve.

Conventional cooking:  Cook in a pre-heated oven at 190°C, fan oven 170°C, Gas Mark 5 for about 18-20 minutes.



  • Make these into canapés just cut the pastry into smaller squares to line a mini muffin tin, divide the filling between them
  • If your guests eat shellfish, add some cooked prawns to the mixture and garnish with a whole shell-on shrimp or prawn
  • Substitute crème fraîche for the cream
Special Turkey Roasts
  • Saddle of Turkey - (Two breasts of fillet meat, boned with wings inserted)
  • Butterfly Breast Turkey - (Two breasts of fillet meat)
  • Boned and Rolled Turkey - (White and dark meat)
  • Ballottine of Turkey - (Boned turkey with loin of pork and stuffing)
  • Turkey Stuffed - (with a Ham or Pheasant Breasts)
  • Boned Turkey - (Stuffed with Ox Tongue and Forcemeat)
  • Cockatrice - (Several birds of varying sizes, one inside each other)
  • Turducken - (A chicken inside a duck inside a turkey with sausagemeat stuffing)
  • Ten Bird Roast (The ultimate ‘Russian Doll’ assembly)

Unless expressly instructed otherwise in a specific AGA recipe, these are all best roasted in the AGA roasting or baking ovens by the fast or medium methods. Have the roasting tin on the lowest set of runners. Because they are so dense it is essential to ensure that they are thoroughly cooked right to the centre. The use of a meat thermometer is strongly recommended. The slow method is not suitable for these roasts and should not be used.


Back to the AGA Christmas Guide.


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