So I've been looking all over the web and for the life of me I can't figure out what temperature I need to cook my goose to.
The USDA says 165, Cooks Illustrated says 170 but then says "A goose generally reaches an internal temperature of 170 degrees in the thigh cavity after less than two hours of roasting. Yet the meat is still tough, especially around the thighs. At least 45 minutes of additional roasting is required. The most reliable indicator of doneness is the feel of the drumsticks. When the skin has puffed and the meat inside feels soft and almost shredded when pressed--like well-done stew meat--the rest of the bird should be just right." Well what temperature is that? Because several recipes recommend getting it to the point that its tender but then crisping the skin at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. I'm concerned about the Cook's recipe because the bird I have is smaller than theirs. And Julia Child says 180 in Mastering the Art of French Cooking. But she also wants me to stuff it with prunes and foie gras which is just not happening.
I just finished rendering the fat that was inside the bird and this long strip from the neck, then I ate the cracklings on toast with salt. Soooo good.
Right now I'm planning on pricking the skin with a fork, roasting at 350 breast side down for 40 minutes, flipping it, and draining the fat. Then sticking a probe thermometer in there and bringing it to the point that its tender...but I just need to know what that temp is :).
Additional roasting of the goose for another 45 minutes, as CI suggests, would bring the internal temp up to about 175-180*. I personally would remove it from the oven at 170*, when temped at the thickest part ot the thigh. The temp will continue to rise, while it rests, to about 180*. Even though your bird is smaller that CI's, if you use a thermometer, you will have control of the situation.
When turning the goose to brown the breast, you can rest it on each side to roast as well, that will cook the legs faster. Then you won't have to worry about them being tough.