Got Goose?

Whether you shot it or bought it, this is how to cook your goose. Roasting a goose is no more difficult than roasting a turkey. Its meat is moist but not greasy, contrary to popular belief. Like ducks, geese have a thick layer of protective fat under their skin. However, the fat drains away if the goose is properly cooked, resulting in a flavorful golden-brown bird.

Geese are available frozen year-round and often fresh during the holidays. The quality of frozen goose is excellent, but be sure to allow at least 3 days for thawing.

Prepare the goose as shown in the photos below. Start roasting it at 400°F. to render the fat quickly and start browning the skin. Reduce the temperature to 350°F. to allow the meat time to cook thoroughly. Cover the bird with foil part-way through roasting to keep the skin from getting too brown while the legs and thighs continue to cook. If necessary, remove the foil during the last 15 minutes to allow for additional browning.

There’s no meat on the lower parts of the wings, so remove and discard them.

Cut away the long neck skin. It’s not necessary and contributes excess fat.

Remove excess fat and skin from around and inside the cavity to reduce grease that gathers in the pan.

Pierce the skin with a small knife so fat drains during cooking. Don’t pierce the meat or juices will be lost during roasting.

To eliminate splattering during roasting, barely cover the bottom of the pan with water.

Use a baster to remove the fat at least every 30 minutes during roasting.

Carving Tips

Carving a goose is similar to carving a turkey, but keep in mind that a goose has more bone in relation to meat than turkey.
  • Start by thinly slicing the breast meat, carefully following the contour of the breastbone.
  • Pull the leg and thigh away from the body to find the joint that joins the thigh to the cavity; then cut between the joint and the cavity.
  • Separate the thigh and leg at the joint, and cut the meat off the bones.

You may need to wiggle the bones (more than you would in carving a turkey) in order to find the joint areas.

Looking for a foolproof recipe for goose? Check out Roast Goose with Cranberry-Fruit Stuffing.

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