Goose AND Turkey?
My husband wants goose for Christmas. His parents do not, they want turkey. I love the idea of having some of the goose fat. I wonder if I can get a small goose, cook it before the Turkey and then use the meat for something…. I’ve never cooked a goose… What about this, cook the goose, retain the fat and smother some on the Turkey. Since geese don’t have much meat on them anyways, and I’m getting a small one, what can I do with the goose meat? Flavor the gravy? Put it in the dressing?
Use it to extend your dark meat (which is always the best part of any poultry except capon - the only poultry where the breast is really good eats). The meat is all dark, with a flavor some liken to mild beef. I would serve it as dark meat. (You can certainly use the neck meat, gizzard and heart for your drassing - you might want to save the liver for the Cook's Own Treat...). The breasts are long and shallow and easy to remove intact. The thighs are a little messier in terms of removal compared to a chicken, because the joint is a bit harder to precisely locate and is a bit more stuck in there (that's the best way to describe it).
Chanukah, which started last night, is usually a good time to find fresh goose, because goose fat is the standard central/eastern European Jewish replacement for olive oil that so characterizes the foods of the feast. My local Stop & Shop had them for $2.70/lb last week - I roasted a 12 lb bird this weekend, and now have my next year's supply of goose fat.
I did scald the bird inside and out, dried it thoroughly, and pricked the skin all over (not too deep), salted it, and let it dry for 24(-48) hrs on a rack over a pan in my frig before I took it out to roast.
Oh, don't forget to make a broth from the carcass - it's good.
Goose is SO good. When I vsited my brother on his Arkansas farm, they cooked a goose for me. I think SIL treated it like a turkey, stuffed and gravied. Lordy, was it good!
Better than turkey any day. You've given me an idea for Christmas.
Try to talk your husband out of this. Why waste a wonderful goose on people who won't care about it? Frankly, they're a good bit of trouble that you may not be expecting since you've never cooked one before. Just dealing with the volume of fat and, as Karl says, carving them which is a bit more complex. The dark meat will get shuffled in with the turkey that your in-laws are perfectly happy with, and they won't appreciate your efforts. Your husband might be disappointed that they didn't think "his" goose was special. Just fix the turkey and call it Christmas Dinner.
Do the goose another day, maybe between Christmas and New Years when things are calm and you can enjoy both cooking and eating it. It really is a special treat. You and your husband will enjoy a fine meal with perfect side dishes that go well with goose instead of turkey. Especially if you roast some potatoes in a little of the precious and wonderful fat that you'll save to enjoy for months to follow.