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Goose me for Thanksgiving

Well, it turns out that Thanksgiving this year will be a very low key event, just my lovely wife and myself. I was thinking I'd make a duck, which never fails to satisfy. But I've been looking for a good excuse to try cooking a goose. I realize that a goose is really way too much for just the two of us for dinner. So is a duck, but we LOVE the things I can do with the leftovers, especially making a soup from the carcass.

Anyway, so this will be my first experience with a duck. I'm looking for roasting suggestions as well as leftovers suggestions. I've heard that goose fat is just wonderful for roasting anything, so I'm planning on saving that. Are there "stuff/no stuff" factions with geese like with turkeys?

I'm really intrigued by some recipes I've seen online calling for a port. Any excuse to throw alcohol into my food is always fun. :-)

Thanks in advance.

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  1. Farmed goose meat is kind of boring, but it's worth roasting the bird just for the delicious fat. One goose throws off a lot of fat.

    Note that wild goose is the opposite, tasty but very lean, really needs to be wrapped in caul fat or something.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      I wasn't aware of the farm/wild distinction. I live in Los Angeles; I imagine I can get a wild goose here. Hmmm, I may be carrying my goose joke too far. :-)

      I may call ahead to my local butcher (over at Farmer's Market) and find out if it's something I should pre-order.

      1. re: bdumes

        Farm goose you can find anytime in the freezer of your nearest Chinese supermarket.

    2. Actually, a goose is not that excessive for two people, especially a small goose. Goose has the lowest meat to bone ratio of the major poultry/waterfowl in the market.

      Whatever you do, do not throw away that fat, which is liquid culinary white gold. It will keep for years in the freezer (and at least a couple in the frig) and is invaluable.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Karl S

        That is so true. Boy was I surprised the first time I cooked a goose many years ago. You'd get more meat off of a duck. I think it, at the time with younger larger appetites, I figured it would have fed 3 people tops.

      2. I raised - and ate - both goose and duck for many years. Goose has a most distinctive flavor - but , is not to my taste at all. A duck , on the other hand, is 1 of my favorite meats.

        Personally - I would bone the whole bird , leaving the skin attached to the meat and leaving it all in 1 large piece. Then I would stuff it and roll it. Tie it. Roast it. (I am sure u can find directions for this someplace - U need a boning knife , but it isn't at all hard - it takes about 20 minutes to bone.

        U can do it with either bird - but u will have leftovers with the goose and not so much with the duck. The broth can still be made but I sure don't care too much for goose broth.

        If u do a goose - u can cut off the fat , save it , if u desire -same with the duck, of course.

        GL and as romantic and early American and authentic as the goose might sound - my family all preferred the duck.

        1 Reply
        1. re: dibob817

          Goose is usually compared to beef in flavor, and I think that is a reasonable approximation. I love both goose and duck, though duck tends to be more tender, and goose more intensely flavored. Goose fat is a bit more lux than duck fat.

        2. 1) Make sure the goose will fit in your oven. They are longer than turks.
          2) Prick the skin a bunch so the fat can be more easily released.
          3) Water over the skin at the last and crank up the heat for a crispier skin. You can also preblanch it like you might do for a duck.
          4) Cook it on a rack inside the roasting pan.
          5) Stitch the cavity shut after stuffing so the skin won't shrink back.

          I would consider making a port gravy.

          Your wife is gonna be thrilled.

          1. I love goose. There IS a ton of tasty fat. A technique that has worked very well for me, from an article in the NY times about 8 years ago or so, is as follows: The day before you are cooking the goose, prick the skin all over with a sharp little skewer (just go into the fat, try to avoid the meat). Boil a big pot of water and lower the holey goose into it for about a minute (I do this twice, once on each side). You'll see fat streaming out the holes but you will have removed huge chunks of it and there will be plenty left.

            Put on a rack in a roasting pan, and let sit uncovered overnight in the fridge. Roast as usual.

            Enjoy!

            1. The search function in Epicurious seems to be down right now, but we've done a couple of goose recipes from there that turned out well. One is with apples and Calvados; the other was oranges and Madeira. I'll have to look them up when the search function is back.

              I agree that goose is less meaty than it looks. We usually have enough for 2 people + 1 meal of leftovers.

              So what's good to do with goose fat? I'm ashamed to say that we've been throwing the fat away.

              2 Replies
              1. re: PPPPP

                Well, potatoes in general. Latkes come readily to mind (goose fat being the northern European equivalent for olive oil at Chanukah) in particular.

                Sauerkraut, cabbage and cooked greens dishes in general. Add some of the cracklin's (grebenes) from the rendered crispy skin....

                It's also great for savory pastry dough.

                I might consider using it instead of suet in half-mock mincemeat.

                Any use for schmatlz (normally thought of a chicken fat but really covering goose/duck fat as well) is appropriate. Spread on dark rye breads with salt and toppings of choice, too.

                You can also use it to cook all manner of egg/meat combos, for breakfast or another meal. Hmm, I wonder about dropping an egg into a small deep well of hot goose fat (eggs fried in olive oil this way are what is meant by "fried egg" in many parts of Europe; absolutely better than the US-style fried egg).

                You can also give it to other greedy hounds rather than throwing that treasure away.

                1. re: Karl S

                  Nice to know about the Latke hint this close to Hannukah! :-)

                  I use a couple of tablespoons of duck fat over veggies for roasting. It is less transparent than olive oil, but what it adds is something pretty special.

                  I imagine, since we're trading Jewish recipes :-), that it would also be excellent for potato kugel, which uses a controversial amount of fats anyway.

              2. Oh, I'll definitely be keeping it now that I know! We used to save bacon fat, but it would get all nasty, so we just assumed goose fat would be the same way.

                1 Reply
                1. re: PPPPP

                  Well, it freezes well. You can portion out in sizes that you'd use for a while in the frig, and freeze the portions not currently being used. It keeps for a long time in the frig. Once it's cooled and separated, slice off the non-fat layers(or simply reserve those for the stuff you'd use currently) and you should have a fairly pure block of off-white fat.

                2. Here ya go! The madeira one is my favorite because it's less sweet and I love madeira. My husband is partial to the apple one.

                  Roast goose with caramelized apples:
                  http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

                  Roast goose with oranges and madeira:
                  http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...