Goose is traditionally served at the holidays across Europe
. It is often thought of as a fatty
bird, which is a misconception. The insulating fat lies directly under the skin and renders while keeping the meat moist during cooking.
The meat is dense and dark, comparable to beef, but is still considered “white” meat. Goose liver is preferred over duck in pâté foie gras. When the meat is preserved in its own fat, it becomes confit d’oie.
Domestic and wild or free-range birds are sold fresh seasonally or frozen in many regions. Wild geese tend to be more lean, but will taste more “gamey.” Several species are farmed for meat, including Embden, Toulouse, White Chinese, African, and Pilgrim.
The younger the bird, the more tender and tasty. Goslings – of both genders - are superior, but also expensive. Weights generally range from 6-18 pounds (goslings are up to 8 pounds, young geese are 12-14 pounds). Bone-to-meat ratio is high, so when purchasing, calculate for more poundage accordingly.
Uncooked, thawed goose will keep refrigerated for about two days. After cooking, remove all bones before refrigerating or freezing. If frozen, use within six months.
• Before roasting a whole goose, prick the skin (parallel without piercing the meat) in several places to allow fat to escape.
• Treat goose like any other poultry. Take all precautions to prevent bacterial growth and cross-contamination.
• Always use a deep pan to catch the drippings and a raised rack. Add a little water in the bottom to prevent the fat from burning.
• For extra-crispy skin, sprinkle water on top of the bird in the last few minutes of cooking. Leave uncovered for about 15-20 minutes and remove to cool.
• For a moist and safely done bird, the internal temperature should reach 165ºF/ 74ºC. Remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes.
• When thawing in the microwave, prepare immediately afterward. If some portions of the flesh have begun to cook, bacteria can form.
• Smoking and indirect grilling is an excellent alternative to roasting and allows the fat to drip away from the meat. When smoking, remove and place in oven for the last half hour to crisp the skin.
Turkey (dark meat) or duck.
Try one of our favorite goose recipes:
View BigOven's goose recipes