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Roast Goose help!

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I am roasting my first goose next week and I could use some help. There are a lot of recipes out there with very different methods. Some recipes call for removing the wishbone first. Is this necessary? Why is it done? Some recipes call for dipping it in boiling water and then drying in the refrigerator over night, or steaming on the stovetop and then drying overnight. Which is better? Is it necessary for crispy skin?

Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

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  1. We bought a 14lb goose for 8 people one year, and there was just enough to serve us all (unlike a turkey, there is a lot more fat than meat).

    We didn't cut out the wishbone, but did spend a good 20-40 minutes pulling extra fat out from the inside (this can be rendered into a better form later if you'd like; put into ziplock bags and freeze).

    The reason for sticking it in boiling water before keeping it upright overnight is to drain some of the fat off and dry out the skin (a similar process is used for duck--think Peking duck).

    Use a deep roasting pan--there will be a lot of fat. We put halved baby redskin potatoes with rosemary and slices of red onions in the pan to absorb the juices while cooking underneath the bird. If you can manage, turn the bird at least once (ideally every 45 minutes)

    Be sure to keep extra jars on hand to save the rendered fat (it's delicious for cooking eggs, spreading on toast, seasoning potatoes). Everyone took home a jar (8-10 oz) of rendered fat, which we had cooling on the window sills during dinner.

    1. my mom's only oddness was to put some water in the pan underneath just to keep the huge amount of fat that will come off from bursting into flame.

      as well, when the goose was nearly done, she would jack up the heat WAY high to run the remaining fat off quickly and crisp the skin. watch the bird carefully if you do this.

      save the drippings and the fat - easiest thing is ot pour them all into a container and refrigerate. the fat will settle on top and solidify. If the goose is seasoned,the fat will be seasoned as well. Use it to fry potatoes, for any frying or confiting needs, or go wild nad use it to spread on bread, the way Spaniards and russians use lard (in hungary youll find goose fat occasionally used this way).

      1 Reply
      1. re: Jerome

        I second the water in the pan--it also prevents the burning fat from smoking up the kitchen.

      2. I use David Rosengarten's slow roast method:

        1. Preheat oven to 250*
        2. Trim as much excess fat as you like with a sharp knife
        3. Salt the cavity of the bird, and prick the bird thoroughly with a fork on both sides. Make sure to prick through the skin and fat only, not into the flesh.
        4. Place goose on a roasting rack in a large pan. Place pan in oven and roast at 250*. After 1 hour, prick the bird thoroughly on one side, turn over then prick the other. Continue to roast with the newly turned side up. Repeat this procedure every hour. Also, use the turnings as an opportunity to drain the fat from the roasting pan.
        5. After 4 hours of roasting, prick and turn once again. Increase oven temp to 350*. Continue roasting for an additional 90 minutes, pricking and turning once after 30 minutes. Total roasting time is 5.5 hours.
        6. Let the bird rest for 15 minutes, carve, season well with s&p, then serve. You also might wish to make a sauce of reduced madeira, chicken stock with whisked in butter to serve with the goose.

        There's also another recipe of his with a "holiday brine" I've used, that is excellent. However, be aware you better have a big pot and plenty of free space in the fridge.

        For the brine:
        3 gallons water
        4 cups salt
        2 cups sugar
        3 large garlic cloves, smashed
        2 tablespoons black peppercorns, crushed
        1 tablespoon allspice, crushed
        1 tablespoon juniper berries, crushed
        2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds, crushed
        1/2 teaspoons ground clove
        8 bay leaves

        Day One:
        1. Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Turn off heat, and let brine cool to room temp.
        2. Once the brine is cool, remove bird from the fridge and discard neck and giblets (or reserve for another use).
        3. Using a sharp fork, prick the skin (and only the skin) of the bird (about 60-70 pricks per side, making sure to prick the whole bird.
        4. Submerge the goose in the pot of brine and refrigerate overnight.

        Day Two:
        1. Remove bird from the brine and place on cutting board. Remove wing tips, then place the bird back in the fridge.
        2. Bring the brine to a boil.
        3. Take the bird out of the fridge and submerge neck down in the boiling brine. Try to submerge the entire bird in the brine.
        4. Blanch the bird for 10 minutes. If you can't submerge the entire bird in the brine, flip the bird after 10 minutes and blanch it neck-side up for an additional 10 minutes.
        5. Place a rack in a roasting pan. After the bird is blanched, remove it from the pot and place it on the rack, breast side up. Remove any protruding feathers or feather tips.
        6. Place the whole thing in the fridge to dry for 24 hours.

        Day Three:
        1. Preheat oven to 325*
        2. Remove the bird from the fridge and tuck any skin flaps inside the breast cavity.
        3. Using a sharp fork, (you guessed it) prick the bird thoroughly on both sides.
        4. Place the bird in the oven breast side down with the legs facing the back of the oven. Roast for 1.5 hours.
        5. Remove bird from oven, place on cutting board and prick all over again. Use this opportunity to drain the fat from the pan as well.
        6. Place the bird back in the oven, breast up, legs to the back. Roast for 1.25 hours.
        7. Remove goose from the oven and place on a cutting board. Drain the fat from the roasting pan. Raise the oven temp to 400*.
        8. Place the bird back on the rack in the roasting pan, breast side up and return to the oven legs to the back. Finish roasting for 30 minutes.
        9. After 30 minutes remove from oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving.

        This recipe sounds very difficult, but it's actually rather easy once you get into it. The result is quite delicious. All you need is lots of time and lots of space in your fridge. Also, it is rather cumbersome dealing with the goose in the hot brine, so be careful. For either method, I wouldn't go larger than a 12 lb. goose. If the goose is any older, you'd be well advised to go with a braising prep.
        This year, my goose is just a shade under 10lbs. I'm going with the first method, as I'm keeping this dinner on the savory side and won't be serving any sweet components. Sides will be sausage stuffing, savoy cabbage with guanciale and white grapes, and a potato brussel sprout gratin.

        1 Reply
        1. re: adrman

          Thanks for the "holiday brine" recipe & instructions for roasting. I was trying to decide whether to do a high-temperature roasting or low-temperature roasting of the goose but I also wanted to brine beforehand. This figures it all out for me.

        2. Thanks all! I used the Rosengarten method and it came out great!